Murrieta Man Charged With Animal Cruelty Pleads No Contest -- Tue, 09/23/2014 - 1:37pm

A Murrieta man charged with beating his german shepherd, Kaiser, with a metal chain leash pleaded no contest to an animal cruelty charge from the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office, officials said Tuesday.

Mohamad Taghavi, 30, of Murrieta, is expected to appear in court Oct. 8 for sentencing, said Ricardo Santiago, spokesman for the D.A.'s Office.  

"The allegation (that Taghavi) used a chain as a deadly weapon in beating his dog is expected to be dismissed at his sentencing," Sandoval said.

Taghavi was arrested on Sept 10 after he allegedly punched his 3-year-old dog multiple times and struck him with a metal chain leash while at a food truck on Castaic Street in Castaic, said Deputy District Attorney Emily Cole.

When Kaiser attempted to hide under the truck, the defendant yanked the chain multiple times causing the dog to whimper.

Kaiser is under the care of the Los Angeles Department of Animal Care and Control.

Several Santa Clarita Valley residents contacted the Sheriff's Station and deputies arrested Taghavi on Wednesday, booking him on animal cruelty and drunk in public charges, officials said.

Deputies called Department of Animal Care and Control officials to the scene, and they took custody of the dog, said Deputy Josh Dubin of the Sheriff's Station Crime Prevention Unit.

If convicted as charged Taghavi faces a maximum penalty of four years in state prison.