Lost dog used in extortion ploy

HAWTHORNE, Calif. Pineapple, a cocker spaniel-toy poodle mix got loose from the Carrillo family home in Hawthorne last week.

Police say Alfredo Jaime Dempkey, 27, found the dog and got the family's phone number from the animal's tags. He called the home, and talked to 17-year-old Sofia Carrillo. She says he first demanded $70 to return the dog, then demanded sexual favors. Otherwise, Carrillo says Dempkey told her he would harm the dog.

"If I didn't have any money or I didn't want to have sex, he was going to start torturing her and making her suffer," Carrillo told /*Eyewitness News*/.

She told her father and they notified Hawthorne police who had her set up a meeting with Dempkey in the parking lot of an El Pollo Loco restaurant. Instead of Sofia, her father Felipe went to the meeting. There, he found Dempkey holding Pineapple.

"He said, 'Give me my money,' he told me a lot of times, 'Give me my money,'" said Mr. Carrillo, who had to stall until police got there. "I said wait just a second, I'll give you the money, wait just a second, give me time."

Officers arrived and arrested Dempkey. They say they then discovered that he had been convicted of a sex crime in 2003, was on parole, and had failed to register as a sex offender. If convicted of extortion, he could face 15 years in prison.

Pineapple was returned back to the Carrillo family unharmed.

The Twitter address for Hawthorne PD: http://twitter.com/HawthornePD

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