Man arrested in attack outside Albertson pet store

Posted: Updated:
ALBERTSON -

A Missouri man has been arrested in connection with an assault Wednesday outside of an Albertson pet store.

Rino DiMaria says he was attacked outside Pups4Love on Willis Avenue after recording the delivery of puppies to the store. Part of the exchange was captured on DiMaria's cellphone.

DiMaria says he was sitting in his car in a nearby parking lot when he taped the delivery to raise awareness about what he believed was the delivery of puppy mill dogs. He says the puppies were being unloaded from two vans with Arkansas and Missouri license plates.

After a few minutes of profanity-laced insults back and forth, DiMaria says three of the deliverymen yanked him out of the car and attacked him.

DiMaria, of Roslyn Harbor, says he fought back, got away from his attackers, grabbed his cellphone and called 911.

Police charged 40-year-old Christopher Hyde of Springfield, Missouri with assault. They were still looking for the other suspects.

News 12 called Pups4Love for comment, but no one answered.

The store released a statement on its Facebook page that reads in part: "We want to emphasize too that these delivery workers are in no way employed by Pups4Love, and as such we do not control or necessarily condone their own individual words or actions. The man who verbally insulted the delivery drivers also made allegations that our puppies come from 'puppy mills,' which is untrue."

DiMaria suffered cuts, bruises, a swollen eye and a chest injury. But he says he'd still do it all again.

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