CHICAGO (CBS) — The man caught on video forcing his dog to run alongside his car has since been charged, but now he’s claiming there’s a good explanation for why he did it.
Nelson Benitez agreed to talk with CBS 2, but after he talked to an attorney he changed his mind. He still answered a few questions and says he would never hurt his dog.
Benitez, a local community activist in the Ecuadorian community, says his 11-month-old German Shepherd goes just about everywhere with him.
“I love my dog,” he said. “I love Dexter. I am a very good person.”
Benitez was charged with animal cruelty, a misdemeanor, and bonded out of jail.
He said off camera that he was running late that day and that’s why he walked Dexter from his moving car.
When asked if he would do it again, Benitez said, “Of course.”
The woman who recorded the video also spoke with CBS 2 but asked not be identified.
“He was very defensive, and I was willing to talk to him and say, ‘I have a German Shepherd, too. This is not OK for their hips.’ This looked horrific, but he was unwilling to talk about it with me,” she said.
Benitez interviewed with police, and they checked Dexter out and determined there wasn’t enough evidence to remove him from the 69-year-old’s home.
“I would like the dog to have a home with someone who is responsible and caring of it and not someone who is negligent because that’s negligence,” the woman said.
“The video is very bad very destructive for my personality and my life,” Benitez said.
Benitez will be in court next month. Animal rights organizations have reached out to CBS 2 and have serious concerns that Benitez still has the dog.