Arrest made in disturbing animal cruelty case
Buckeye police arrested 21-year-old Jose Vega Meza on Sunday, June 16, after investigating a troubling animal cruelty case. The disturbing incident occurred the night before, on Saturday, June 15.
The victim told police she was moving her belongings out of a home, where she had been staying, in the 500 block of west Baseline. This is the same home where suspect Vega Meza lives. The victim had her dog with her but lost track of it for a while.
At about 10 p.m., the victim was still unable to locate her dog. She and several friends, who were helping her move, noticed Vega Meza attempt to load a small box onto the truck without anyone seeing him. The victim confronted Vega Meza and asked him what was in the box, the suspect reportedly just smiled. When the victim opened the box, she found her dead, mutilated, headless dog inside.
The victim stated she was so distraught and upset that she waited until Sunday morning to call police. Officers attempted but could not locate Vega Meza.
The information regarding the suspect was shared with other officers. Late Sunday afternoon, a patrol officer noticed Vega Meza walking in the Valencia Neighborhood in Buckeye. The officer took Vega Meza into custody and arrested him for the animal cruelty. Vega Meza told police he knew why he was being arrested and admitted involvement in the crime.
Vega Meza was booked into Maricopa County 4th Avenue Jail on three counts related to animal cruelty. He was also booked on one count of misdemeanor assault for an unprovoked attacked on another prisoner upon arriving at the jail to be booked.
The communication and beat knowledge of Buckeye police officers quickly helped arrest the suspect in this case.