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HomeCrimeDispute over parking causes woman to throw dog into oncoming traffic

Dispute over parking causes woman to throw dog into oncoming traffic

It all started over a parking space. Someone’s car had blocked Haniyyah Barnes’ vehicle, preventing her from leaving the Newark driveway, authorities said. Barnes’ reaction was fury, they said.

First, the 25-year-old kicked down her neighbor’s front door, police said. Next, she allegedly threatened and assaulted the woman who had allowed her to park in the driveway.

Then, police said, she turned her attention to Honey Bey.

The 4-pound Shih Tzu had just begun barking when Barnes grabbed her, ran outside and threw the pet into oncoming traffic, police said.

The 2-year-old dog with brown floppy ears and a black nose was killed instantly that night on Aug. 27, 2011.

Nearly a year later, a grand jury has indicted Barnes on charges of animal cruelty, burglary, criminal mischief and theft, the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office said Wednesday. A relative said alcohol was to blame for the violence, that Barnes had grown up around dogs and would never have hurt one.

Authorities said the act was cruel and vicious.

“It was a tiny dog that was barking instinctively to protect its owner,” said Assistant Essex County Prosecutor Michele Miller, who is handling the criminal case. “It wasn’t attacking the defendant. It went to see what the commotion was and paid for it with its life.”

The Shih Tzu is one of the most popular breeds in the country, according to the American Kennel Club. Though “sweet and playful, he is not afraid to stand up for himself,” said the group’s website.

A Newark police officer who happened to be patrolling Fabyan Place that day witnessed Barnes storm out of the house with one hand around Honey Bey’s throat, “and launch the dog,” Miller said.

Barnes was arrested on the spot.

If convicted, she faces up to 10 years in prison on the second-degree burglary charge and five years for the third-degree animal cruelty count. The Newark woman, whose two prior arrests were for assault — one was dismissed and the other she pleaded guilty to a lesser charge — remains free on $35,000 bail.

Arraignment is scheduled for June 18 in Superior Court in Newark.

The case marks the second high-profile instance of alleged animal cruelty to a dog in Newark in the last 15 months. In March 2011, a woman was charged with tossing her year-old pit bull down a high-rise trash chute. That dog, found emaciated and injured — and which has since been renamed Patrick — ultimately survived. That case is pending.

Barnes’ public defender could not be reached for comment. But a relative reached yesterday said the woman “wasn’t in her right mind when she did it,” and believed alcohol played a part.

“Her mother always had pets around the house. Her sister had three Shih Tzus. She wouldn’t harm one,” said the relative, who did not want to be identified.

The argument began around 11:30 that August night, when Barnes went to the Fabyan Place home where she discovered her mother’s car was blocked by another vehicle in the driveway. The offending vehicle belonged to a 31-year-old woman who had been allowing Barnes’ mother to park in her driveway. Demanding the car be moved, Barnes began screaming and kicked in the front door, then threatened and assaulted the woman, Miller said.

At that point, Honey Bey scurried in and began barking, authorities said.

Miller described the homeowner and her young children as distraught over the loss of their dog.

“It was devastating,” she said.

Arlene Culpepper, Asst. Editor-in-Chief
Arlene Culpepper, Asst. Editor-in-Chiefhttp://www.mikodreamz.com
Vice-President & Asst. Editor-in-Chief of The Heat Magazine, Arlene is a Louisiana native, Certified Paralegal, Publicist, Owner of MIKODreamz PR, co-owner of 504Diffusion, writer, producer, and jack of all trades, who is heavily involved in her community as well as serving as Media Advisor for New Orleans Union for Entertainment (NOUE), Member of the NOLA Music Awards from 2012-present & Member of the Press Club of New Orleans. Her work is published across the web. Her PR work has been highly recognized & awarded. She was/is publicist for the late great BTY YoungN, 0017th and more. She is also working on her first novel & aspires to turn it into a film & is currently writing the authorized biography of the legendary Pimp C of UGK. She can be reached via email at Arlene@theheatmag.com. Follow her on Twitter - @CategorySeven & Instagram - @hurricanearlene.
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