- Associated Press - Thursday, March 17, 2016

NEW YORK (AP) - Prosecutors say a New York City man has pleaded guilty to an animal cruelly charge after being accused of kicking, punching and choking his pit bull puppy.

Queens prosecutors say 26-year-old Eric Ranger pleaded guilty Wednesday to a misdemeanor animal cruelty charge.

The Queens man was accused of repeatedly punching, choking and kicking his small black dog. Neighbors told police they heard the dog crying in his apartment.

Prosecutors have said a police officer saw Ranger punch the dog, causing it to fall to the ground.

Ranger was arrested in December. Prosecutors say that as part of his plea deal, he can’t own pets for five years and must register as an animal abuser.

Attempts to reach Ranger Thursday were unsuccessful. The phone rang unanswered at his attorney’s office.

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