The Los Angeles CEO who was caught on video roughing up his 4-month-old puppy has apologized and given up the pooch, but still could be in hot water with the law.
Jeffrey Previte, the 46-year-old head of a California environmental-consulting firm, was caught Aug 22 in disturbing surveillance footage that shows him grabbing “Bici,” by the ear and neck and dragging the pitbull into a hallway off the parking garage at his Santa Monica condominium building. Then, he slaps the dog.
Previte apologized to TMZ, saying he lost his temper and “took unreasonable and unjustifiable action.” He said the abusive video doesn’t represent the time he spent with the dog. Nevertheless, he placed Bici with another family, and admitted he is “an imperfect person.”
Yet earlier, Previte appeared to blame the worker manning the condo building’s front desk, who initially reviewed the tape after hearing the dog crying, and reported the abuse to management. Previte claimed “he attempted to extort money from me so that he wouldn’t report it to the building,” Newsweek reported. “I said if you need to tell the building, tell the building. The building manager took it very seriously. I find it very unfortunate that we are even talking about this.”
While in that statement Previte claimed, “There’s nothing illegal about what I did,” the Santa Monica Police Department posted on Facebook Thursday that detectives received reports from Santa Monica Animal Control Officers and will present the case to the district attorney to consider animal cruelty charges.
Previte told TMZ he is taking a leave of absence from his job, enrolling in an anger management program and spending time and money helping animal rights organizations. The website of his employer, EBI Consulting, no longer has any mention of him on it, though earlier screenshots featuring him are still being passed around on social media. The company also deactivated its Twitter and Facebook pages.
In an email to the company’s staff, Previte’s brother and co-CEO Nolan Previte defended Jeffrey, claiming the incident was “zealous discipline of the dog for peeing the rug,” the Daily Mail reported. Nolan, 50, said his brother is ‘kindhearted’ and claimed Jeffrey ‘deeply cares’ for the dog.
Nolan, 50, insisted his brother is ‘kindhearted’, denied he had any abusive tendencies and claimed Jeffrey ‘deeply cares’ for the pooch he was filmed beating.