Doctor Fatally Hit Dog With Hammer: Cops

Isaias Lerner faces a charge of animal cruelty with intent to kill

By Lisa Orkin Emmanuel and Diana Gonzalez
|  Wednesday, Sep 5, 2012  |  Updated 7:57 PM EDT
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A South Florida doctor faces a charge of animal cruelty with intent to kill after he repeatedly hit a dog with a hammer on the head and impaled its ear and throat area with a screwdriver, authorities said. Isaias Lerner, 66, an internist from Bay Harbor Islands, was arrested on Tuesday afternoon when two witnesses told authorities they saw him hit a brown and white dog, who was tied to a tree, with the hammer, authorities said. He was released from jail on $5,000 bond on Wednesday. Allan Sjoberg, assistant chief of Bay Harbor Islands Police, said the event was caused by animal problems and a high degree of frustration.

A South Florida doctor faces a charge of animal cruelty with intent to kill after he repeatedly hit a dog with a hammer on the head and impaled its ear and throat area with a screwdriver, authorities said. Isaias Lerner, 66, an internist from Bay Harbor Islands, was arrested on Tuesday afternoon when two witnesses told authorities they saw him hit a brown and white dog, who was tied to a tree, with the hammer, authorities said. He was released from jail on $5,000 bond on Wednesday. Allan Sjoberg, assistant chief of Bay Harbor Islands Police, said the event was caused by animal problems and a high degree of frustration.

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A South Florida doctor faces a charge of animal cruelty with intent to kill after he repeatedly hit a dog with a hammer on the head and impaled its ear and throat area with a screwdriver, authorities said.

Isaias Lerner, 66, an internist from Bay Harbor Islands, was arrested on Tuesday afternoon when two witnesses told authorities they saw him hit a brown and white dog, who was tied to a tree, with the hammer, authorities said. He was released from jail on $5,000 bond on Wednesday.

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One of the witnesses told police they saw him impale the dog with a screwdriver with a grinding motion, according to the arrest affidavit. Police said the witnesses were two sanitation workers.

"The witnesses stated the dog was yelping and appeared to have brain matter emitting from its head," the arrest affidavit said.

The witnesses positively identified Lerner from photographic lineups, and he gave a verbal and written confession.

The affidavit stated that Lerner said he "struck the dog an unknown amount of times on the head with a hammer."

He added that the dog wobbled for a while and died, affidavit said.

"The witnesses' attention was drawn to the area by somenoise and visual observation of a male subject hamming the dog on the head and also using a crewdriver and impaling the pet with a screwdriver," said Allan Sjoberg, assistant chief of Bay Harbor Islands Police.

Sjoberg said the reason for the incident was "apparently just problems with the animal and a high degree of frustration."

A telephone message left at Lerner's home wasn't immediately returned. It wasn't immediately known if he had an attorney.

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