Man arrested after Fresno police say he admitted to killing dog while servicing woman's pool

Jessica Harrington Image
Saturday, October 30, 2021
FPD: Man arrested after admitting to killing dog while servicing pool
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A Fresno woman said her dog came up missing and when she checked her surveillance cameras, she had reason to believe the man servicing her pool killed her pet.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A pet owner's worst nightmare.

A Fresno woman said her dog came up missing and, when she checked her surveillance cameras, she had reason to believe the man servicing her pool killed her pet.

That video ultimately shows the final moments of the dog's life.

The suspect was arrested but qualified for the state's zero-dollar bail, so he walked out of jail Friday afternoon.

Action News caught up with him as he was leaving and he offered an apology to the dog's owner.

"I deeply regret my actions and I hope that everybody forgives me for what I did," said Aaron Cumpton, 23, as he was released from the Fresno Count Jail Friday where he was booked for felony animal cruelty, accused of killing a Fresno woman's dog.

Fresno Police said they received information from a woman who claimed she believed her pool guy killed her seven-pound Yorkie named Artie.

Investigators said this surveillance video from the dog's owner, Kim Garcia, helped in the investigation.

The video taken on Tuesday appears to show the suspect trying to catch Artie after he escaped out of the backyard.

Cumpton even chases after him as he heads down the street.

He pets and holds the dog as he knocks on the door, but no one is home.

After pacing back and forth, Cumpton eventually goes to the backyard and returns without the dog to grab something out of his truck.

Shortly after, he emerges with, what appears to be, a lifeless Artie and puts him in the trash can.

"You were petting the dog," Action News Reporter Jessica Harrington asked Cumpton. "You chased after it to make sure it got back in the yard, what happened?"

"I'm not too sure, I don't want to go into detail," Cumpton responded.

Fresno Police said Cumpton has been cooperative with investigators.

"The officer was ultimately able to make contact with Aaron, the suspect, who throughout last night had a couple of conversations with the officer admitting that he confessed and that he had killed Artie," said Fresno Police Department Lieutenant Bill Dooley.

The company Cumpton was working for when the incident happened, Pure Water Pools, sent a statement to Action News.

"We were notified of an incident by Fresno PD at approximately 8:30 am Thursday morning. After learning details of the incident, we immediately suspended the employee and have since terminated his employment. Pure Water Pools is a family-owned and operated business with strong ties to the community and we take pride in having served Fresno and Clovis residents for the past 38 years. We will continue to work with authorities to ensure that this incident is handled appropriately and that justice is served."

Action News spoke to the owner of the dog on the phone Thursday night but was unable to get in touch with her Friday.

The case will be submitted to the Fresno County District Attorney's Office.

Cumpton is expected to be in court on January 20th.