(FOX NEWS) -- A Long Island man has been charged with animal cruelty in the choking death of Rex, a neighbor’s pet pit bull.
Toquoc Huynh appeared in front of a judge Thursday in a courtroom packed with pit bull lovers wearing t-shirts that said, “Justice for Rex,” according to a report on Fox News.
"He choked him out, suffocated him and threw him to the ground," Rex’s owner Dominic Primerano said of Huynh, according to WNBC-TV.
Huynh pleaded not guilty and said he choked Rex to get him to stop biting another neighbor’s golden doodle named Quincy.
Rex was killed in July in Hauppauge, L.I., after a scuffle with two unleashed dogs, Huynh’s Shih Tzu and the golden doodle, the station reported.
Huynh left the courtroom to taunts of “murderer” and “animal killer,” according to The New York Times.
He had no comment for reporters, the paper reported.
Huynh told police in a written statement that he choked Rex to get him to stop biting the golden doodle, the paper reported.
“Rex stopped biting Quincy, but I kept choking Rex so he wouldn’t bite me and told the owner of Rex to get a leash,” Huynh wrote.
Online petitions asking prosecutors to upgrade the charges against Huynh have received more than 330,000 signatures, the Times reported.
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