An Oceanside dog trainer was charged Friday with harassing a man who posted a video appearing to show the trainer poking caged dogs with a stick, attorneys said.
Brian DeMartino, 45, was arraigned on a misdemeanor harassment charge Friday before Judge Scott Siller in First District Court in Hempstead, the Nassau County district attorney’s office said.
He was released to probation and ordered to stay away from the other man, the prosecutor’s office said.
The man, Thomas Marrone, of Oceanside, was in court for the arraignment and said later that he was disappointed that DeMartino had not been charged with a more serious crime.
“I’m a bit disappointed,” Marrone said. “I’m a witness in an investigation [into animal abuse], and I was threatened.
“He just walked out of there [the court], no bail,” Marrone said. “He came and sat outside my house and took pictures.”
The district attorney’s office had no comment.
DeMartino’ s attorney, Adrian DiLuzio of Garden City, said his client and Marrone knew each other and, “it’s up to people to decide whether it’s criminal.
“People do impetuous thing,” the lawyer said. “He wasn’t nice there, no question about it, but that behavior has stopped.”
The criminal complaint against DeMartino said he sent a text message to Marrone — whose name is blacked out in the complaint — and called him on the telephone.
“I will spend the rest of my life taking you down in ways that you could not imagine, watch your back you disgusting [expletive],” the complaint said, quoting the text message.
DeMartino called Marrone, who recognized his voice, and told Marrone that “now I am going to kill you,” the complaint said.
The video, posted on Facebook in December, shows a pit bull at NYDogWorks in Oceanside cowering and yelping, while appearing to be poked repeatedly by a man.
DeLuzio said the video was only a snippet of a longer video made by someone who had a dispute with DeMartino and sent the snippet to Marrone.
The attorney said DeMartino had been demonstrating techniques to keep aggressive dogs at bay in that part of the video.
Gary Rogers of the Nassau County SPCA said Friday that DeMartino owns the board-away dog training facility and that there is an investigation.