Rino DiMaria said he was using his cellphone to record the delivery of two vans of puppies to Pups 4 Love on Willis Avenue Wednesday afternoon. He was recording while sitting in his car in the parking lot.
DiMaria describes himself as a dog advocate and was planning to post the video to Facebook. He believes people should get their dogs from shelters and not from breeders and puppy stores. The vans had license plates from Arkansas and Missouri.
After a few minutes of verbal back and forth with the people delivering the puppies, DiMaria said one man attacked him and pulled him out of his car. He said two more men joined in the attack. DiMaria shared the footage with Eyewitness News.
Rino DiMaria says he was attacked outside a puppy store in Albertson. He was filming the delivery of puppies to the store. A man from Missouri was arrested and charged with assault. pic.twitter.com/6n62lm4uQp— Kristin Thorne (@KristinThorne) February 1, 2019
"They were pretty intent on beating me down and hurting me," DiMaria said. "They had my head on the ground as they were punching me. I believe one of them just straight up came and stomped on my head."
DiMaria went to the emergency room.
Christopher Hyde, of Missouri, was arrested and charged with assault. DiMaria believes the other two men left in one of the vans.
Pups 4 Love released a statement saying that the man charged in the attack was not an employee.
"We want to emphasize too that these delivery workers are in no way employed by Pups4Love, and as such we do not control or necessarily condone their own individual words or actions. The man who verbally insulted the delivery drivers also made allegations that our puppies come from 'puppy mills,' which is untrue," the statement read.
The statement also emphasized that the puppy store works with all USDA licensed breeders and is constantly inspected and regulated by agencies in New York.
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