AUSTIN (KXAN) — A Buda man is in jail charged with torturing and killing a dog in a downtown hotel room, and police suggest he may have done it before.
Tyler Hastings Berry, 27, faces multiple animal cruelty charges after police said in an arrest warrant that “he intentionally, knowingly or recklessly tortured an animal or in a cruel manner killed or caused harm serious injury or bodily injury to an animal”.
Police say a felony charge stems from a grisly discovery made at the Doubletree Suites at 303 West 15th Street on June 28 last year. Officers responded to the hotel after the cleaning crew found a dead pit bull mix in the bathroom of a hotel room. Hotel staff members said Berry had left that room earlier in the day.
A veterinarian examined the dog’s body to determine the cause of death and told police he may have been strangled or partially drowned “approximately 24 to 48 hours before he died”, the arrest warrant states. “During those 24 to 48 hours, the dog would have been slowly dying and experiencing an unimaginable amount of pain and suffering, until his eventual death,” police said.
Jail records show Pflugerville police arrested Berry on five different counts on Monday, including two other animal cruelty charges. No attorney is listed for him at this time, so KXAN will reach out later for comment once they know who his legal representative is.
Police said they recognized Berry’s name from a previous report of a dead dog found at another hotel. On June 5 last year, officers said staff at another central Austin hotel found a “wet dead puppy” in the room Berry was staying in. However, the police explained in the arrest warrant why they did not pursue any charges in this incident.
“Due to a mix-up in the 311/911 system, no officer was ever dispatched,” the warrant stated, “and ultimately the pup’s body was disposed of by hotel staff.”
Police, however, said Berry faces additional charges after a third report of two dead puppies found at another northwest Austin hotel where he was staying. “An investigation and necropsies were conducted and these puppies died due to lack of medical attention,” the warrant reads.
Double Tree 15th Street staff recognized Berry when he tried to check in again on August 8 and called 911. At that time, responding officers submitted a request to apprehend him. on unrelated charges.
After the arrest, police said his girlfriend told them “Berry would remove the dogs from Facebook, but then they would disappear.” Police said Berry would not speak to officers, but they said he admitted in jail to phone calls with his girlfriend that “he was at that hotel and knew about the dog.”
Six months later, investigators appeared to have put all the pieces of the puzzle together and incarcerated Berry on felony animal cruelty charges and four misdemeanor charges.
It is not known if Berry was released from jail at any time after the August 8 arrest at the Doubletree on 15th Street.
Berry’s recent court records show that two drug-related charges were filed in September and December 2021 in Hays County against Berry.
Jail records show he was released the same day he was arrested in those two cases, so it’s unclear why the Austin police just arrested him.
Austin police did not respond to any of KXAN’s questions about the investigation or the timeline outside of what is in the arrest documents.