OCALA, Fla. – An Ocala man is facing aggravated animal cruelty charges after police said he threw his dog into oncoming traffic, causing the animal to be hit by two cars.
Officers arrested Michael Britton, 55, on Tuesday.
Investigators said he was standing along the side of the road near the 2800 block of SW 24th Avenue when he threw his dog into the path of vehicles.
"Who does this? Who does this to an animal?" Fran Sciotto, a witness, said.
Sciotto said she and her family were driving along the road when she she saw Britton step out and toss the dog. She said she didn't have time to react and accidentally hit the animal.
"I saw a big ball of fluff and Angel started screaming, 'Turn around. It was a dog, it was a dog.'" Sciotto said.
Sciotto said she turned around and saw Britton pick up the dog, who was still alive.
"I was wailing on my horn, trying to get cars to try to not come around or stop them from coming the other direction, while Angel was on the phone with 911," Sciotto said.
That's when she said she saw Britton throw the dog back into the road again.
"When he tossed the dog a second time, it bounced off the bumper. She didn't run over it. It just kinda hit and that's when he ran off," Angelia Marrero said, who was in the car with Sciotto.
The dog, known as "Buck" was found hours later. He was sent to the University of Florida Pet Emergency Treatment Services with serious internal injuries. News 6 found out he is stable and is being monitored.
Marrero said Britton just stood there along the side of the road until officers arrived and arrested him.
"He was just staring off. He had the blank, glassy eyes stare, staring off into space," Marerro said.
Police said Britton put up a fight and resisted arrest. An officer had to use a Taser on him twice.
Sciotto said she doesn't understand why someone would do this.
"It seems like there's some mental illness going on. I hope he gets the help he needs and just that he doesn't touch another animal again," Sciotto said.
Britton told officers that his dog was stabbed with an arrow and he threw him into traffic to put him out of his misery, according to his arrest report. But officers said they didn't find any kind of stab wound on Buck "that would explain Britton's actions."
Britton is charged with cruelty to animals, assaulting a law enforcement officer, and resisting an officer without violence.
An Ocala police officer is fostering Buck and plans to adopt him.
A fundraiser was created to help cover Buck's growing medical costs. You can call the Humane Society of Marion County at (352) 873-7387 or the veterinary office of Dr. Lidya Albano at (352) 694-3631 to donate.