Manatee County — A 38-year-old man was arrested Wednesday and charged with animal cruelty and child abuse following an incident where he hanged a Bradenton family’s dog because it was barking, according to an arrest report.
Robert Leroy Edwards, 38, of Houston, took an electrical cord and wrapped it around the neck of Richard Hunt’s dog and hanged it until the dog was dead, a Manatee County Sheriff’s Office arrest report stated. He then walked into the house and woke someone up to help him hide the animal’s remains. The person refused when they saw the dead dog and Edwards punched the person.
After hearing a commotion, another man came downstairs and discovered the “senseless killing of the dog,” the report states. He argued with Edwards who struck with bruising punches.
The man called 911, the report states.
Edwards was arrested at the scene.
The victims refused emergency medical services.
Richard Hunt, who wasn’t home at the time of the attack, responded on Facebook expressing his devastation over the loss of his pet and the assault.
In his post, Hunt said the dog’s name was Midnight and was strangled with an extension cord. He said that Edwards took the dog’s lifeless body and “crammed her into a back compartment” of a boat that his son kept on the property.
Hunt’s son called him at 3 a.m. and he came and removed the dog’s body from the boat.
“I will never be able to erase the sight of her broken body from my mind,” the post said. “It took me a few minutes to untie the noose he had used to choke our sweet girl with.”
Hunt said he would attend all of Edwards’ court dates on counts of child abuse with great bodily harm, battery, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, and aggravated animal cruelty that led to Midnight’s death.
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