BUCKEYE, AZ (CBS 5) – A man has been arrested after police say he beheaded his roommate’s dog over the weekend.
According to police, the incident occurred Saturday night near the area of Broadway and Miller roads in Buckeye.
The victim told officers that she was moving her belongings out of a home she shared with 21-year-old Jose Vega Meza. The victim said she had her dog with her but lost track of it for a while.
A few hours later, the woman and her friends, who were helping her move, noticed Vega Meza was trying to load a small box onto a truck without anyone seeing him.
That’s when the victim confronted Vega Meza and asked him what was in the box.
According to police, Vega Meza reportedly just smiled at her.
The victim then opened the box and found her dead dog inside.
Police say the dog had been mutilated and was headless.
“The other day there was a girl walking out of that house, she was crying and screaming saying he did something,” said Victoria, who lives in the area. “She had like 4 or 5 people outside trying to calm her down and she couldn’t calm down.”
The victim told officers that she was so distraught and upset about the discovery that she waited until Sunday to contact them.
On Sunday afternoon, officers found Vega Meza walking in a Buckeye neighborhood took him into custody.
Vega Meza told officers that he knew why he was being arrested and admitted his involvement in the crime.
The suspect told officers that he wrapped the dog in a string and then cut it open with a razor blade.
Vega Meza added that he killed the dog because the victim owed his mother rent money. He later told officers that he knew what he did wasn’t right. The suspect also admitted to killing and torturing other animals in the neighborhood in the past, according to court documents.
“I had a cat, she was black and white, and she used to go around everywhere–you know, across the street, over there, over there–so it could’ve been her too. He could’ve taken her into his yard and killed her,” Victoria said. “We just had 2 cats come up missing like two days ago so that’s like really scary and my little brothers and sisters are probably wondering what happened to their cats and maybe that guy probably did something to my little brother and sister’s cat and that’s really horrible.”
Several neighbors say Vega-Meza and the other people who live in the home typically keep to themselves.
“Really none of the neighbors know them personally. We kind of keep our distance because they are a little noisy and cause trouble,” said Lisa, another neighbor.
“To think that there was someone who was living there, like right across the street from my house, it could’ve been my animals! That’s really, really scary,” said Victoria.
Vega Meza was later booked into the Fourth Avenue Jail on two counts related to animal cruelty. The suspect was also charged with a count of misdemeanor assault after he attacked another prisoner.