Man arrested in connection with home robbery, stabbing of Yorkie

Nearly $2,000 worth of damages reported

PALM BAY, Fla. – Palm Bay police have arrested a man in connection with a break-in and the stabbing of a man's Yorkie with a pair of scissors, sending the dog into surgery.

The Palm Bay police special operations personnel arrested Markell Brent Sawyer, 19, of Vin Rose Circle, in connection with the Sunday burglary on Salina Street.

Police said Jasper, a 2-year-old Yorkie terrier, was stabbed and left for dead during the break-in.

Palm Bay's Juvenile Task Force recovered property taken from the burglary during a juvenile check, leading detectives to Sawyer.

Sawyer is charged with armed burglary of a dwelling and felony cruelty to animals. He is being held at the Brevard County Jail without bail.

Jasper is back home recovering from his injuries.

"We take all crime serious, but this was very shocking," Lt. Mike Bandish said.

"I just can't understand how anybody could be so vicious to stab a friendly, little dog," said John Kilderry, who owns Jasper.

News 6 was at Kilderry's Palm Bay house Monday when he brought Jasper home from an animal hospital.

"It nicked his spleen and his intestines," said Barbara Riha, a neighbor who watches Kilderry's dog. "He was bleeding inside."

Palm Bay police said sometime overnight Saturday into Sunday, thieves broke into Kilderry's house, caused roughly $1,700 in damages, took hundreds more in electronics and left behind a big mess.

"They trashed the place," Kilderry said.

Along with food and cleaning supplies spilled on the floors, Jasper's blood was also smeared inside the house.

Kilderry was away visiting family in Boston.

When he got the news, he immediately cut his vacation short, and got on the first flight home.

"When I left Boston, the dog was in surgery," Kilderry said. "I didn't know if the dog died."

Jasper made it, but at an expensive price.

Kilderry says his surgery cost over $4,000.

Kilderry's lost sense of security could cost him even more.

The 73-year-old is now thinking of moving.

"I don't honestly know what I'm going to do," Kilderry said. "If I stay here I'm going to have get security on the windows and cameras."

Kilderry is hoping his insurance will cover the damage and losses.

About the Author:

James joined News 6 in March 2016 as the Brevard County Reporter. His arrival was the realization of a three-year effort to return to the state where his career began. James is from Pittsburgh, PA and graduated from Penn State in 2009 with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.