Crime & Justice

Driver of stolen van that hit dog gets prison time

The driver of a stolen van that hit and badly injured a dog during a wild, televised police chase in Los Angeles has been sentenced to two years in state prison.

Los Angeles County prosecutors say 21-year-old Yovani Rodriguez was sentenced Friday after pleading guilty to taking a vehicle without consent, fleeing police while driving recklessly and hit-and-run.

Rodriguez was arrested Wednesday night after a chase that lasted more than an hour. His woman passenger was detained but not charged.

During the pursuit, the van struck Gordo, a young Maltese mix that ran into the street.

The fluffy white dog received a deep gash to his back leg and a crushed hip. Vets trying to save his leg removed part of his hip joint on Thursday and repaired other damage.