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Intruder butchers beloved puppy to death with machete: Report

Screenshot of Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office website

A Florida man is in custody now after reports suggest he broke into an area residence and killed an innocent puppy in its crate.

Just before 7 p.m. last Thursday, a resident of Dover, Florida, about a half-hour west of Lakeland, contacted police to report a home intrusion. According to the report, a 25-year-old homeless man named Alexander Hernandez-Delgado broke into the residence through an unlocked living room door. During his brief stay in the home, Hernandez-Delgado supposedly helped himself to various food. He also allegedly made a mess, throwing "various items around in the home," the report claims.

However, the most heinous accusation leveled at Hernandez-Delgado is that he viciously stabbed the resident's puppy to death. The alleged victim claimed to have first spotted the suspect walking away from the home, supposedly wearing a hat stolen from the residence. Then, when the victim got inside, he or she discovered the puppy dead in its crate near the door. It is unclear how police determined that a machete had been used to kill the pet. It is also unclear whether the machete belonged at the residence or was brought into the residence by the suspect.

A short time later, officers with the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office found Hernandez-Delgado across the street at a nearby Dollar General store. When confronted, he allegedly admitted he had been inside the burgled residence and was arrested without incident.

Hernandez-Delgado has been booked in the Falkenburg Road Jail and charged with aggravated cruelty to animals with a weapon, armed burglary of a dwelling, and petit theft. He remains in custody on $50,000 bond.

Sheriff Chad Chronister released a statement regarding the incident and did not mince words about the suspect in custody.

"I have zero tolerance for abuse of any kind," Chronister said. "Unfortunately, this is not the first case of animal cruelty we’ve seen recently. I can’t stress enough how important it is to me that these suspects face charges. This suspect has a history of violent behavior in the area, and it is vital that he’s held accountable so he can’t continue to harm any innocent person or animal."

It is unclear when Hernandez-Delgado is expected to be back in court.

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