NORTH ST. LOUIS COUNTY • Two boys have been arrested after viewers from across the country saw an Internet video of a boy punching and throwing a dog. Laughter can be heard as the dog is slammed to the ground.
St. Louis County police launched an investigation Thursday after getting calls about the video and that afternoon arrested two students from the Riverview Gardens School District.
The boys were referred to the county’s Family Court for the charge of animal abuse. They were being held at the St. Louis County Juvenile Justice Center.
The animal was taken into protective custody by county Animal Control. A staff member reached there late Thursday afternoon would say only that “the dog is safe and there’s an open investigation.”
By Thursday afternoon, the video, posted on Facebook, had been shared thousands of times.
St. Louis County Officer Brian Schellman, a spokesman for the department, said police began getting calls from outraged people around 12:30 p.m.
“Apparently, this was a Facebook post that spread far and wide pretty quickly,” Schellman said. “We’ve gotten about 50 calls from people nationwide.”
Concerned people also took to posting to the social media site Reddit seeking the identification of the boy in the video.
One wrote, “The kids clearly lack empathy.”
Eventually, a tipster told police the boy in the video is a Riverview Gardens student.
School resource officers identified that juvenile and another boy accused of shooting the video and took them into custody, police said.
The 33-second video shows a boy twice performing wrestling-type body slams on the dog and then punching it in the body and head several times. They appeared to be on the front lawn of a home. The video was taken down late Thursday afternoon.