Man accused of killing woman's dog during Spring Garden burglary

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- A man is in custody after being accused of killing a dog inside a Philadelphia woman's apartment and then attacking her on Friday.

"I did a run to Whole Foods to pick up some pre-shopped groceries," said Gretchen Brock.

She says she was gone for no more than 15 minutes and had left her Alexander High Rise apartment in Spring Garden unlocked, thinking it was secure.

"The building is normally safe. You would think it's safe," said Brock.

But she returned to find a stranger, a man in her place brutalizing her five-pound Yorkie named Zenith.

"He was shaking my dog. He had my dog by the neck," said Brock. "He had already strangled and thrown my dog because he was limp."

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The man, identified by authorities as 34-year-old Jamel Evans, then chased her out of her apartment.

"When I got outside in the hallway, I started screaming for help and trying to get my dog out of his hand," said Brock. "He just started punching me. He punched me in the head."

A neighbor came out and brought Brock into his apartment for safety.

Police arrived a short time after and took Evans into custody.

Brock took Zenith to the emergency veterinarian, but it was too late.

"They told me that he had been strangled and that his ribs were broken," she added.

Brock says Zenith would have been one year old on December 24.

"He was the sweetest thing, and what breaks my heart is that I know when (the suspect) got into my apartment, my dog was just happy to see a human. For him to have killed my dog in such a vicious way, I want this man in jail for an extremely long time," said Brock.

The district attorney's office has approved charges of burglary, criminal trespass, aggravated cruelty to animals, simple assault, and reckless endangerment.

Due to the depravity of the crime, the DA's office is seeking a dollar short of a $1 million bail.
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