A woman accused of dragging a small dog behind a scooter in Bakersfield after photos and videos captured the incident last month has been charged.
Prosecutors filed animal abuse and neglect charges against Elaine Rosa last Friday, according to television station KERO in Bakersfield.
Rosa faces 3 years jail time and a $20,000 fine if convicted, the station reported.
Bo Koenig, Rosa’s attorney, released the following statement to KERO:
“We were recently advised by law enforcement that official charges have been filed against my client. I’ve reached out to my client and we plan on cooperating with law enforcement 100 percent. She is in the process of turning herself over to the authorities this evening.”
The viral videos and photos that allegedly captured Rosa dragging a small dog behind an electric scooter in January sparked an uproar on social media.
Brandon Sanders told KERO last month that he was with his girlfriend when they witnessed the incident.
Sanders confronted the woman — since identified as Rosa — when she got closer and asked if she and the dog were OK.
She responded, “S–t happens, just like with kids,” Sanders wrote in a widely shared post on Facebook.
“We told her, ‘No, you don’t drag your kids behind a scooter at 15 mph,'” Sanders told KERO.
The dog had four bloody paws, Sanders said.
He snapped photos of the wounded canine – and the woman – and posted them on social media.
“I was on my bicycle and she was walking, and she looked at me, and when she saw that I was taking her picture, she smiled at me, kind of a smart-aleck smile,” Sanders said at the time. “I’m not going to say that what she did was intentional, but it was very negligent. She had to have drug the dog at least 100 yards before she even checked to see if it was still there – and that’s just from what we saw, from the point to where we actually saw her to where she stopped.”
According to KERO, Rosa was a former employee of the Kern Valley State Prison as a contracted psychologist. Her contract was terminated on Jan. 7.
It is unknown if the videos or photos played a role in that.
Rosa was not the owner of the dog, Bakersfield police said. The dog has since been returned to its owner and received medical treatment.
The suspect posted bail and was no longer in custody, the station reported.