An upstate New York man has admitted to freeing his dog so it could viciously attack his girlfriend during a fight last year, officials said.
Jamie Cruz, 35, pleaded guilty Tuesday to second-degree assault in the November 30 incident, where his girlfriend sustained life-threatening wounds after being mauled by his pit bull, The Rochester Democrat & Chronicle reported.
Cruz unleashed the dog after having a domestic dispute with the victim at about 1:07 a.m., but initially claimed the animal got loose and attacked her, authorities said.
Police responding to multiple 911 calls about the attack found the dog still in the process of biting the unclothed and barely conscious 34-year-old mother of Cruz’s child outside his home.
The dog refused to release the woman and three officers fired several rounds at the animal, ultimately killing it and accidentally striking Cruz in the process, officials said.
The victim was rushed to a nearby hospital in critical condition, where she was treated for severe injuries and underwent as many as 10 surgeries.
“The amount of wounds that she has on her body ... are horrific,” Rochester Police Deputy Chief Scott Peters said at the time.
It was later determined that Cruz had instigated the attack.
"While the victim was attempting to leave the location, Cruz intentionally released the dog from a cage, resulting in the dog exiting the cage and brutally attacking the victim," police said in a release obtained by the Democrat & Chronicle.
Cruz was initially charged with first-degree assault, but ultimately pleaded guilty to a lesser charge. He will be sentenced to four years in state prison and three years of post-release supervision, authorities said.