Cook County man sentenced to prison for beating dog with belt
MATTESON, Ill. - A 27-year-old man was sentenced Monday to 18 months in the Illinois Department of Corrections for beating a 7-year-old Shih Tzu with a belt.
Irmani Lewiel, of Matteson, pleaded guilty in May 2022 to aggravated cruelty to animals.
On Sept, 5, 2020, around 7:30 p.m., Woodridge police were alerted by the Downers Grove VCA to an abused pet dog named Bella.
Officers later learned the dog's owner returned home from work and found Bella lying lifeless on the floor. The owner instructed her boyfriend — identified as Lewiel — to take her and Bella to the vet.
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An investigation revealed that Bella went to the bathroom on the floor of the home and then Lewiel "whooped her in the mouth" fives times with a belt, officials said.
Bella suffered five fractured ribs and air pocketing under the skin, officials said. She also had fractures to both her eye sockets, a bleeding broken incisor tooth, bruising around the dorsal pelvis, and a bleeding back molar tooth broke in the gum line so that Bella could not close her mouth.
"In DuPage County, animal cruelty is taken very seriously." DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin said. "What I find particularly alarming in this case is the amount of pain and suffering Mr. Lewiel inflicted upon a small, defenseless dog. Thankfully, Bella has recovered from her injuries and is living comfortably with a loving, caring family.
Bella was treated for her injuries and has since recovered. She and the couple's other dog were forfeited and adopted by another family.