Dog Road Rage Suspect In Custody

Thursday, February 15th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Police have a prime suspect to last year's bizarre road rage incident when a man yanked a woman's dog from her car and tossed it into oncoming traffic, the San Jose Mercury News reported Thursday.

The suspect, first identified through an anonymous e-mail, is in Santa Clara County Jail on unrelated charges, the newspaper said. Authorities hope to ask a grand jury for an indictment on felony animal cruelty charges.

A year ago this month, a man snatched a 10-year-old bichon frise named Leo from the lap of Sara McBurnett and threw the dog to its death. The confrontation happened after McBurnett bumped the man's black sport-utility vehicle.

The case drew widespread attention and the reward fund grew to more than $100,000.

``I keep seeing his little body going under the car,'' McBurnett said at the time. ``He made a sound I've never heard before.'' She said this week she has been treated for depression and has been unable to fully return to her job as a real estate agent.

Police in Santa Clara believe they cracked the case during an investigation of a 27-year-old man who disappeared Dec. 8 while on the job as a Pacific Bell repairman, the paper said. He was arrested Jan. 4 and is accused of staging a car accident and taking Pacific Bell property worth about $68,000.

The man allegedly fit the profile of the man sought in the road rage incident, and had a black sport-utility vehicle with Virginia license plates similar to that described by witnesses.

Santa Clara police and county prosecutors declined to comment on the story.