FLORIDA -- Two men who allowed a pit bull terrier to maul a caged raccoon to death in the front yard of a downtown home were arrested on felony animal cruelty charges, police said on Wednesday.
"The only thing I can compare [the fight) to was watching the Discovery Channel and watching a lion ravage a zebra," said Delray Beach police Officer Dave Cummings, who used a can of pepper spray to thwart the dog's attack. "It was that fierce."
Five men were watching the fight and cheering on the dog, detectives said.
"I was angry - they were watching it like a show," Detective Dean Perna said.
It took three police officers to break up the Tuesday evening fight between Caine, the 3-year-old dog, and the raccoon.
On Wednesday, an animal control officer took the dog to an animal shelter, where Caine is now considered police evidence for the criminal cases against Roy Bennett and Alex Sinkfield.
Sinkfield, who supplied the raccoon, and Bennett, whose cousin owns Caine, spent Tuesday night in the County Jail on charges of baiting or fighting animals, a third-degree felony. Both men posted $3,000 bail and were released on Wednesday.
Additional charges of animal cruelty were filed against the two men on Wednesday.
Bennett was also charged with tampering with evidence for trying to wash the blood off the pit bull after the officers stopped them, but while they were waiting for animal control officers to arrive.
The pit bull's white coat is covered with scratches and cuts from ripping the poor raccoon to shreds.
"This is the first case I've had like this in 14 years," said Detective Jack Makler.
Makler and Perna were driving along Southwest Fifth Avenue on Tuesday afternoon when they noticed the fight. They jumped out of their car to break it up.
"The dog's entire face was covered with blood," Makler said. "The dog had his head right in the raccoon's stomach."
Bennett has a lengthy criminal record with convictions for rape, burglary, drug possession and distribution.
(Sun Sentinel - January 19, 1995)