Dog suffers fractured skull in stabbing, Ocala police say

Man charged with aggravated animal cruelty


OCALA, Fla. – An Ocala man was arrested after police say he beat a dog so badly he fractured the dog's skull.


Steven Scott Fleming, 49, has been charged with aggravated animal cruelty and resisting arrest in the Sunday afternoon incident.

[Warning, content may be graphic: Animal cruelty case investigated]

Police said they received calls from neighbors about what they believed to be a domestic dispute after they heard the dog crying and yelping from inside of the home on NE 13th Street.

When police arrived, they found the white American boxer Labrador mix, named Molly, with her head covered in blood; police determined that she had been stabbed three times. Police also found a bloody broken baseball bat, blood on the floor and overturned furniture in the living room.

Witnesses told police that they heard Fleming banging on the door telling his live-in girlfriend to let him in. They then heard splintering of wood and yelling inside of the home, along with the dog crying and yelping.

Fleming, whose jeans were covered in blood, jumped a fence and ran away from officers, according to the report.

Police said that Fleming had been drinking at the Snowbirds Lounge and left after getting into a fight with his live-in girlfriend. She was not at the home at the time of the incident, police say, and was found passed out outside of the bar.

A motive for the beating was not provided by police.

Fleming was booked into the Marion County Jail on $5,500 bond.

Ocala police say they are working to determine who owns Molly and relinquishing the custody of her to Animal Services if deemed necessary.

During the investigation process, Molly will be under the care and control of Marion County Animal Services while she is being treated and recovering from her injuries, police said.

Donations are accepted for animal cruelty cases at Marion County Animal Services at 5701 SE 66th St., Ocala or donate online at www.marioncountyfl.org/animal.