AUSTIN (KXAN) — A Buda man is in jail accused of torturing and killing a dog in a downtown hotel room, and police suggest he may have done this previously.
Tyler Hastings Berry, 27, is facing several animal cruelty charges after police stated in an arrest warrant that “he intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly tortured an animal or in a cruel manner killed or caused serious or bodily injury to an animal.”
Police said a felony charge stems from a gruesome 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 a hotel room’s bathroom. Hotel staff members said Berry checked out from that room earlier in the day.
A veterinarian examined the dog’s body to determine the cause of death and told police it may have been strangled or partially drowned “roughly 24-48 hours prior to its death,” the arrest warrant detailed. “During those 24-48 hours, the dog would have been slowly dying and experiencing an unimaginable amount of pain and suffering, until its eventual death,” police said.
Jail records show Pflugerville police arrested Berry on five different charges Monday, including two other animal cruelty misdemeanors. No attorney is listed for him at this time, so KXAN will reach out later for comment once it’s known who his legal representation is.
Police said they recognized Berry’s name because of a previous report about a dead dog found at a different hotel. On June 5 last year, officers said staff members at another hotel in central Austin found a “wet deceased puppy” in the room where Berry stayed. However, police explained in the arrest warrant why they pursued no charges in that incident.
“Due to a mix-up in the 311/911 system, no officer was ever dispatched,” the warrant stated, “and ultimately the body of the puppy was thrown away by hotel staff.”
Police, however, said Berry is facing additional charges after a third report of two dead puppies found at another hotel in northwest Austin where he stayed. “An investigation and necropsies were conducted and those puppies died from a lack of medical care,” the warrant read.
Staff at the 15th street Double Tree recognized Berry when he tried checking in there again on Aug. 8 and called 911. At that point, responding officers submitted a request to apprehend him on unrelated charges.
After that arrest, police said his girlfriend told them that “Berry would get dogs off Facebook but then they would disappear.” Police said Berry would not talk to officers, but they said he admitted in jail phone calls with his girlfriend that “he was at that hotel and was aware of the dog.”
Six months later, investigators seemed to have put all of the pieces together and have Berry sitting in jail on a felony animal cruelty charge and four misdemeanor charges.
It’s unclear if Berry was released from jail at any point after the Aug. 8 arrest at the Doubletree on 15th street.
Recent court records for Berry show that there were two drug-related charges filed in September and December of 2021 in Hays County against Berry.
Jail records show he was released from custody on the same day he was booked in both of those cases, so it’s unclear why Austin Police have just now arrested him.
Austin Police did not answer any of KXAN’s questions about the investigation or timeline outside of what’s in the arrest documents.