Flushing resident arrested in dachshund’s drowning

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A Flushing dog owner apparently drowned his small dachshund in the waters off Jones Beach Sunday morning after playing with him in the surf for 45 minutes, authorities said.

Yoichi Nakayama, 38, was hit with a misdemeanor charge of cruelty to an animal, said Chief Richard O’Donnell of the Long Island Region of the New York State Park Police. He faces up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine.

Nakayama, who works as a sushi chef, had traveled to Jones Beach alone with his dog, according to authorities. At about 11 a.m. near the East Bathhouse, he entered the water with the dachshund and emerged with the dog 45 minutes later, police said.

O’Donnell described the scene.

“He takes the dog into the ocean, I guess to play with it in the ocean,” he said. “He keeps the dog in the surf, according to witnesses. In that time, the dog is repeatedly dunked. At the end of that period of time, the individual comes out of the water and the dog appears to be dead, is limp in the defendant’s arms.”

Nakayama could not be reached for comment.

While Nakayama’s actions in the water went largely unnoticed, a crowd gathered as the man emerged from the ocean, O’Donnell said.

“There were different reports from witnesses of what transpired,” O’Donnell said. “One report indicates that there was an attempt to bury the dog or throw sand on the dog [by Nakayama]. Others indicated the dog was under the control of other people.”

O’Donnell said several people, including one person who was trained to handle animals, attempted to help the dachshund.

“An effort was made to revive the dog, unfortunately unsuccessful,” he said.

Nakayama told Newsday he was very sad, calling the incident an accident and contending he was holding onto the dog because the animal was not a good swimmer.

O’Donnell said he thought the incident was probably an accident.

“I think he failed to perceive the impact of playing with a small dog in the ocean for an extended period of time,” he said.

Nakayama is scheduled to appear in Nassau County First District Court in Hempstead on Sept. 16.

Reach reporter Alexander Dworkowitz by e-mail at or call 229-0300, Ext. 141.

Posted 7:15 pm, October 10, 2011
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