HIALEAH (CBSMiami) – A Hialeah Police officer being investigated for the death of his police K-9s has been cleared of animal cruelty charges.
Authorities said Officer Nelson Enriquez – and his two K-9s, Hektor and Jimmy – had just finished working his regular midnight shift that ended at 7 a.m.
Enriquez – a 13-year Hialeah police veteran and seven-year K-9 handler – reportedly arrived at his Davie home at around 7:30 a.m., put the dogs in their respective kennels and brought them food and water.
After falling asleep at around 9 a.m., Enriquez was called in by Officer Richard Quintero because he and his dogs were needed to search for a missing child.
The trio found the missing child at around 11:30 a.m. Enriquez checked out of service and returned to his home with his dogs.
Enriquez, who states in his proffer that he was exhausted, forgot to bring down his K-9s.
The dogs were reportedly in the car for more than six hours.
According to court documents, Enriquez said he found the dogs dead in the patrol car.
Quintero, along with other members of the Hialeah Police Department, arrived at the home after having been called by Enriquez.
The Davie Police Department was notified by Commander Ernesto Gutierrez. Davie Det. Gregg Brillant led the investigation.
Brillant’s findings, as reported by court documents, state Enriquez did not intend to cause harm to his animals.
According to Brillant, what Enriquez did to Jimmy and Hektor was “neglectful” conduct – which Brillant equated to a manslaughter charge in a homicide case.
However, there is no manslaughter equivalent in animal cruelty statutes.
Enriquez could still face departmental discipline.