CHICAGO — The man caught on video as he punched and tossed a dog in Lincoln Park last autumn has pleaded guilty to misdemeanor cruelty to animals.
But Jose Cartagena’s legal troubles are not over. He failed to show up in court after being released on his own recognizance, and cops said he had a gun in his vehicle when they caught up with him a few days before Christmas. That case, a felony, is still pending.
Cartagena entered his guilty plea to animal abuse on Friday before Judge Daniel Gallagher, who sentenced him to 125 days. The sentence was offset by the time Cartagena spent in jail since being arrested the second time in December, according to court records.
Surveillance video showed Cartagena punching the dog while holding it up on its rear legs by the collar before loading it back into a minivan on September 22 in the 1900 block of North Maud.
The abuse went largely unnoticed until Lincoln Park resident Paula Conrad released the footage in October, hoping someone would recognize the man.
“If someone is going to act like that to an animal, how does he behave toward children and other adults who cross his path?” Conrad asked during an ABC7 interview.
Conrad’s efforts paid off within days. Chicago police arrested Cartagena on October 9 after someone spotted him and his van at an animal care facility in Avondale.
A woman at a veterinary appointment at MedVet, 3305 North California, saw Cartagena in the lobby and called the police. He was there to get treatment for his dog.
According to social media posts by Garrido Stray Rescue Foundation, the dog, Zeus, had cancer and was euthanized before police arrested Cartagena.
“It’s about this dog for me, but also about the 95% of us who are good people standing up to the 5% dirtbags,” Conrad said after police arrested Cartagena.
But a judge signed an arrest warrant when Cartagena didn’t show up for court a few weeks later. Chicago cops took him into custody on December 21 after he made a left turn across three lanes of traffic in the 300 block of West Chicago Avenue, according to CPD records.
While searching Cartagena’s vehicle, police allegedly found a loaded .38 Special revolver between the two front seats. Prosecutors charged him with felony unlawful use of a weapon.
He remained in the Cook County jail until a relative posted a $750 bail payment last Saturday, court records show. Cartagena’s due back in court on the gun charge this Friday.