'Pablo Escobar' in police rescue from hot Holden
FEARFUL that little panting Pablo might soon be frazzled, onlookers acted quickly when they saw the small chihuahua locked in a hot car at a shopping centre.
Police arrived 15 minutes later to find the little dog had been left in the locked Holden Commodore at least 20 minutes prior to the emergency call.
Ipswich Magistrates Court this week heard the window of Enrique Lozano's car was broken when forced down to free his dog.
Lozano was found soon after shopping inside Woolworths at Fernvale.
"I love my dog. I plead guilty," an apologetic 59-year-old Lozano said in the courtroom.
Lozano was charged with breaching his duty of care at Fernvale on November 14 last year.
The charge relates to Lozano containing an animal in a motor vehicle for an extended time in the middle of the day.
Pablo, apparently named after the late Columbian drug lord Pablo Escobar, had been in the car at least 35 minutes when freed, the court heard.
Lozano, from Biarra, near Esk, said he was distressed that police broke his electric window and he was still trying to fix it.
Police prosecutor Jack Scott said Lowood police went to the scene at 12.30pm but at first could not see Pablo in the car.
Then spotted his little legs poking out from beneath the front seat. Officers could feel the heat coming from the car and approval was gained to force entry.
"Pablo was taken to shade and given water," Mr Scott said.
"Pablo was hot to touch, and panting profusely."
When located inside Woolworths, Lozano said he had only been gone six or seven minutes at the most.
Mr Scott said the Woolworths CCTV camera showed Lozano entering at 12.25pm, but it was 1pm when police spoke to him, "so Pablo was inside the car at least 35 minutes".
"My dog is so small he fits under the seat. A water container is there always," Lozano said in court.
"Why did police have to smash my electric window? A window was down at least four inches.
"It is going to cost $300 bucks. It was not like I was playing the pokies or getting drunk."
When questioned by Magistrate Virginia Sturgess, a remorseful Lozano clarified he was pleading guilty to chages as read, and accepted there had been no water.
"I have learnt. Next time I will take some or leave Pablo at home. Exactly what I did today," he said.
Lozano said he was a disability pensioner after being struck by a car.
Ms Sturgess told the court Lozano had prior convictions for drug offences, but Lozano said he no longer had drug issues.
Ms Sturgess found that Pablo was locked inside the car at least 35 minutes on a hot day with witnesses calling police.
She fined Lozano $750.
Speaking outside the court, Lozano said he named his pet chihuahua Pablo after Pablo Escobar.
He said he had water dishes in the car and showed both a metal dish and a plastic container he kept beneath a car seat.