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Man arrested after throwing dog off South Salt Lake balcony

Posted at 12:20 PM, Oct 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-06 16:06:03-04

SOUTH SALT LAKE, Utah — South Salt Lake police arrested a man early Tuesday after he allegedly threw a dog off a fifth-floor apartment balcony.

Police arrived at the building in the 3800 block of S West Temple just after midnight and found William P. Petersen, 32, sitting on the sidewalk holding his small dog.

Witnesses told police they had seen the chihuahua fall from the balcony.

Petersen, who is deaf, communicated with police with a notepad and told them he was suffering from a "mental episode" in which he experiences moments of anger and sadness.

Petersen admitted to throwing the dog off the balcony.

While the police were at the complex, the dog was slipping in and out of consciousness. Police rushed the dog to an animal hospital, but staff there believe the dog may die of its injuries.

Petersen was charged with torture of a companion animal.