Stephen Richardson was taking care of his friend’s dog, an 18-month-old pit bull named Onyx, at his apartment in the Bronx, prosecutors said.
On Dec. 29, according to prosecutors, Onyx and Mr. Richardson were playing in the park. Onyx bit Mr. Richardson, so Mr. Richardson stabbed him, they said.
Then, they said, he stabbed him at least 50 more times, mostly in the face and neck, and also slit his throat.
Mr. Richardson, 33, was indicted on a felony animal-cruelty charge, prosecutors said Friday. If convicted, he faces up to two years in prison.
“This is an incredibly vicious crime,” the Bronx district attorney, Darcel Clark, said in a statement. “Cruelty against animals will not be tolerated.”
According to the district attorney, Onyx’s owner stopped by Mr. Richardson’s apartment on Fulton Avenue in the Claremont Village neighborhood on the day of the killing to check up on Onyx as she often did, and found the 54-pound dog dead in the bathtub.
Around the same time, prosecutors said, someone in the building called 311 to report animal abuse. An officer, Anthony Alvino of the 42nd Precinct, was dispatched.
The criminal complaint condenses Mr. Richardson’s statement to the officer, “in sum and substance,” as follows:
“We went to the park and were playing. The dog bit me, I hit the dog a couple of times. The dog left and I walked back home. When I got home I saw the dog. I picked up the dog, put him in the bathtub and took him out of his misery.”
Mr. Richardson confessed to stabbing the dog with a knife the officer found in his room, the complaint says.
A necropsy by an A.S.P.C.A. veterinarian found that the dog died “of a minimum of 55 sharp force wounds.”