Man arrested on suspicion of killing ex-girlfriend’s dog, dumping it in trash

A municipal water district engineer was arrested on suspicion of animal cruelty after he allegedly killed a former girlfriend’s dog and dumped the small Maltese in a West Hills trash bin, investigators said Friday.

Rommel Marzan, 44, was arrested Tuesday after investigators deemed that his story that he had fallen on the small dog was not credible and a veterinarian determined that the animal had died from blunt head trauma, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Det. Steve Colitti said.

Marzan works for the Las Virgenes Municipal Water District.

After the dog’s owner went to her Agoura Hills home and found her pet missing, she received a call from Marzan, who told her he had accidentally killed the animal, Colitti said.

“He told her he had fallen on the dog and then panicked and dumped the dog,” Colitti said.

The woman called sheriff’s deputies, who contacted Marzan. He told deputies the same story -- that he had accidentally fallen on the dog and killed it and dumped it in a San Fernando Valley trash bin in a panic, Colitti said.

Skeptical deputies “felt he was not being forthcoming,” Colitti said. Marzan later acknowledged that he “may have stepped on the dog,” Colitti said.

Marzan was released on $50,000 bail. A supervisor at the Las Virgenes water district said Marzan has been placed on leave.