A disturbing video showing Jeffrey Previte, the CEO of a California-based environmental consulting firm, beating his puppy at his condo is being widely circulated on social media.
Animal rights activists are calling for Previte, CEO of EBI Consulting, to be fired after he was captured on video beating and slapping his four-month old pet outside his residence in the Seychelle Condominiums building in Santa Monica.
The video, taken on Aug. 22 shows Previte violently yanking the dog, named Beachy, off the floor by the scruff of its neck and jerking the whimpering canine through a door before striking it with the palm of his hand.
Previte Claims He's Being 'Extorted' by Concierge
A concierge in the condominium who spoke on the condition of anonymity said he heard the dog's cries from his seat at the building's front desk and filed a report with the police about the incident.
"I heard the dog screaming and when I looked on the camera, I saw him beating the dog," the concierge said. However, Previte claims the concierge tried to extort him using the video footage.
"[The concierge] called me the evening of this interaction with my dog and that was at nine o' clock at night and he attempted to extort money from me so that he wouldn't report it to the building," Previte said in a statement.
"There's nothing illegal about what I did - I said if you need to tell the building, tell the building," he added. "The building manager took it very seriously. I find it very unfortunate that we are even talking about this."
Building Management Issues Statement
"The apparent conduct of the unit owner was abhorrent and completely unacceptable," read the statement from the building management company. "Building management stands behind our employee and we took swift action including contacting animal control and directing the resident to cease all contact with our employee. We continue to evaluate other measures that can be taken with our counsel."
Animal Abuse Investigation
The Santa Monica Police Department's Animal Services Unit also released a statement that it was investigating the incident "for a violation of Penal Code 597(a) – Animal Abuse" after being flooded with tips from the community. The department has also urged anyone with more information regarding the incident to reach out to them.
Removed From Company Website
In the wake of the backlash that followed after video footage of Previte's alleged animal abuse was shared on social media, the EBI Consulting website has removed Previte from its leadership page, where he was listed as the Vice Chairman and Co-CEO. Jeffrey was announced as the Co-Chief Executive Officer along with his brother Nolan Previte in a blog post on Aug. 20.
The company, whose founder and Executive Chairman is none other than Jeffrey and Nolan's father, Frank E. Previte, has also de-activated all of its social media accounts. Watch the disturbing footage below: