FLORIDA -- A Bradenton man charged with animal cruelty is the third arrest in three months as part of the Bradenton Police Department's new collaboration with other agencies in investigating animal cruelty cases.
Anthony Jamal Kidd was arrested late Monday night and charged with one felony count of animal cruelty after police say he caused his girlfriend's dog to get a broken tooth, bloody nose and swollen eye. Kidd was held at the Manatee County jail on a $1,500 bond.
Kidd, 22, appeared before Senior Circuit Judge Peter Dubensky for a first appearance hearing Tuesday afternoon.
"It was an accident," Kidd told the judge. "My kid was eating (expletive)."
Senior Circuit Judge Peter Dubensky responded that Kidd should have been keeping better watch over his child. Kidd's Assistant Public Defender Matthew Gish then told Kidd not to discuss the facts of the case.
Assistant State Attorney Lisa Chittaro requested Kidd be banned from any contact with domestic animals as a condition of his bail, which Dubensky ordered despite Kidd indicating he could not afford his bail.
"Is there anyway I can get on supervised release? I have a kid and one on the way," Kidd said.
Kidd's prior criminal history included a failure to appear in court, Chittaro told Dubensky.
The dog was placed in a secure location.
The BPD was approached by Chittaro several months ago requesting assistance in investigating animal cruelty cases. Many cases she was getting were not prosecutable because of poor investigations or lack of investigation, according to Lt. James Racky.
"These animals who cannot speak for themselves," Racky said. "We want to prevent any future cruelty or neglect of animals. And if we can't prevent them, then we want to make sure we can properly investigate and prosecute the individuals who are abusing these defenseless animals."
Bradenton police are now working with the State Attorney's Office, Manatee County Animal Services and a team of local veterinarians, according to Racky. While the collaboration is still in its infancy, he said, it's been nothing but positive.
Manatee County Animal Services is "kind of in a learning curve with BPD right now," said Sarah Brown, animal services' new chief. "We are in the very beginning stages of a partnership and how to work best together."
Bradenton Police Department has trained investigators, unlike animal services, Brown said.
"We are just trying to figure out how we can do this best together," she said. "We can obviously learn from them. We are hoping we can have a good, learning relationship with each other."
Animal cruelty will not be tolerated in Manatee County, Brown said.
"We are definitely aware of the case and I applaud them of their work on that," she said.
The BPD was alerted Sunday of injuries to a Miniature Pinscher named Prince when its owner -- Kidd's girlfriend -- took the dog to an emergency veterinarian for treatment, according to an arrest report.
Kidd's girlfriend told police she stepped out of their home in the 200 block of 22nd Avenue West in Bradenton between 10 p.m. and midnight Saturday and left Prince and their son with Kidd. When she got back home, she noticed Prince was inside her bedroom bathroom and went to bed.
Moments later, her daughter reportedly told her there was something wrong with Prince because she saw blood. Kidd's girlfriend then noticed Prince's right eye was swollen shut and blood was dripping from his nose.
Bradenton police detective Yolanda Cox reportedly took Price back to a veterinarian because of concerns he had been abused. Prince had a fractured bone in his nose and a broken tooth, according to the report.
The veterinarian concluded Prince's injuries were consistent with blunt force trauma such as being hit with force or kicked.
On Monday, police went to Kidd's home. Kidd first denied seeing anything, but his girlfriend told police she had seen him spank the dog and put him outside. She said she didn't see any other physical touch but she had never heard the dog yelp the way it had that night.
Kidd was arrested and taken to the Bradenton Police Department to be questioned.
Kidd told police he went inside the bedroom and saw his 18-month-old son eating the dog's feces and got angry, according to the report. He said he then grabbed Prince by the back of the neck and threw him out the back door. Kidd denied kicking or hitting Prince in the head.
Anyone with any information about this case can call Sgt. Anthony Cerniglia at 941-932-9305, or to remain anonymous and be eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000, call Crime Stoppers at 866-634-8477 or send an anonymous etip to manateecrimestoppers.com.
(bradenton.com - April 5, 2016)