Saturday, December 17, 2016

Mississippi: "I think he just killed Albert," 11-year-old said to his mom after seeing his grandfather beat dog with a flashlight

MISSISSIPPI -- A Biloxi woman is desperate to protect her father-in-law’s dog, so she posted a video to Facebook that appears to show the man beating the dog, in the hope it would help.

As of Monday afternoon that video, posted Saturday, had gone viral in South Mississippi, garnering 44,000 views, along with 555 comments and 1,089 shares.

It also has led to an arrest warrant for the man accused of abusing Albert, a 1-year-old dog.

The video, which was recorded on the home surveillance system at Reaghan Swain’s house, shows the man, whom she identified as her father-in-law, Billy Swain, putting the dog in the cab of a truck.

She said her 11-year-old son had asked him to move the dog from the back of the truck to the cab because of the cold weather.

Billy Swain was dropping off Reaghan Swain’s son Friday night after going hunting together.

Billy Swain then walks around to the other side of the truck, opens the driver-side door and appears to punch something repeatedly. He then gets in the truck and slams an object down — Swain said it was a flashlight her son had gotten his grandfather as a gift — several times.

The video never explicitly shows him hitting the dog, but Reaghan Swain said her son ran inside to tell them what had happened. He repeatedly told his grandfather to stop and tried to pull him off the dog, Reaghan Swain said. The boy said Albert was yelping and whimpering.

When he ran inside, Reaghan Swain said her son said, “I think he just killed Albert. Albert’s not moving.”

“We didn’t know what to say . . . For him to do that in our driveway, in front of our 11-year-old son to that poor dog,” Reaghan Swain said.

Swain called the police and showed them the video.

Biloxi Police Capt. Harold Windham said Monday afternoon a warrant was signed for misdemeanor animal cruelty. The dog was examined by a veterinarian and found to not have permanent injuries.

The Biloxi Police Department later announced that, based upon an investigation into the animal cruelty, animal control officers signed an affidavit for animal cruelty and will be making an arrest.

Even if Swain is convicted, Albert would not automatically be taken away from him, unless a judge signs a seizure order.

In an interview, Swain insists that he loves this dog and would never abuse it. He swears that he wasn't beating Albert with the flashlight. He says he was beating the flashlight against the seat of the pickup truck. Seriously. That's his defense. He'd better come up with a better one before court.

(Sun Herald - Dec 12, 2016)

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