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Woman jailed for throwing puppy into traffic

February 26, 2010 12:04:08 AM PST
A woman is behind bars, accused of killing her boyfriend's pit bull puppy by tossing it into traffic. Danielle Graham was arraigned Friday on animal-cruelty charges.The arraignment concluded Friday afternoon. Trembling and upset, 21-year-old Danielle Graham faced a judge and charges of animal cruelty and a felony count of battery with injury on a peace officer. Some very credible witnesses testified: two Hawthorne Police officers.

"She had a small baby pit bull in her hand and she took the pit bull and she threw it into oncoming traffic on Prairie Avenue," said Hawthorne Police Lieutenant Scott Swain.

It started as a squabble near 129th St. and Prairie Ave. According to one witness, Graham's boyfriend asked Graham to stay with the dog while he went to the doctor. She became angry and picked up the 3-month-old pit bull. Then she allegedly hurled the pup into the number three lane of Prairie Ave.

"The dog got run over by the passenger-side front wheel and rear wheel, and after that happened the female just began to walk away, southbound on Prairie Avenue," said Swain.

Matters just got worse. Police tried to arrest Graham. Her boyfriend, 24-year-old Hakeem Funtua, intervened and there was a struggle. Funtua is charged with assaulting a peace officer.

In court, Graham pleaded not guilty. A public defender argued that she should be released because she had a clean record.

"Somebody that throws a dog, a live dog, into traffic and was run over by a car that was observed by the police, and you indicate that there's psychological issues here, I would suggest that that raises the level of public concern, public safety issues," said L.A. Superior Court Judge Keith Schwartz.

The fitful defendant did not go quietly. As she was ushered out by deputies she had an outburst and started screaming.

Funtua was released. Graham was held. Her bail was set at $50,000. She's ordered back into court at the Airport Branch Courthouse on March 16.