One arrested in alleged animal abuse at Okeechobee dairy

Updated Nov 17, 2017
Helias Cruz was arrested on one count of kicking an animal, the Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office said.

One man has been arrested in connection with an investigation into alleged animal cruelty at Larson Dairy, the Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office said Friday.

Helias Cruz, 49, is charged with one count of kicking an animal.

Warrants have been issued for three other employees in the wake of an undercover video from activist group Animal Recovery Mission, or ARM.

Owner Jacob Larson assisted investigators and identified subjects in the video, officials said. Larson terminated two employees and suspended two others, one of whom eventually quit, according to the sheriff’s office.

Omar Jimenes Mendosa, 36, is charged with two counts of hitting an animal with rebar.

Omar Guadalupe Mendosa, 29, is charged with eight counts including stabbing with rebar, pulling a cow’s leg with rebar, hitting with rebar and punching and kicking.

A juvenile, 17, is charged with four counts including punching the udder of a cow, bending tail, hitting with rebar and kicking.