Ivan Lawrence (Erick Lawrence), 49, was booked on one count of felony animal abuse under §ARS 13-2910 and a violation of city code for failing to render aid.
This goes back to 9 p.m. Saturday. The dog was hit by one -- possibly two vehicles -- in the area of 37th and Oak streets.
It's not clear if the dog, Beau, might have survived being hit had she been taken to a veterinarian.
"The dog appeared to have an injured front leg and was weight bearing on 3 [sic] legs and was able to move with the assistance of the other dog that was standing nearby in a protective capacity," according to court paperwork.
"The injured dog was panting and appeared to need medical treatment. The witnesses planned to take the dog to a 24 hour [sic] medical clinic after they established that the owner was not home at the time of the incident."
Lawrence's court paperwork notes that there are "a number" of 24-hour animals hospitals relatively close to where the dog was hit.
A woman came from down the street and said "she would get her husband because he would know what to do."
Lawrence showed up, sledgehammer in hand, a few minutes later. By that time, Beau was lying by the front door of its owner's home.
"Witnesses reported that Ivan proceeded to say he was going to kill the dog with the sledgehammer," the arresting officers wrote in his probable cause for arrest statement. "One witness attempted to verbally dissuade Ivan from killing the dog for approximately 10 minutes to no avail. The witness reported that Ivan was swinging the hammer in an aggressive manner and said he had a gun.
"The witness reported that she told Ivan that she and her mother were going to take the dog to the veterinarian nearby but Ivan said he was going to kill the dog and put it out of its misery," the probable cause statement continues.
"By this time two children were standing nearby from the neighborhood pleading with Ivan to refrain from hitting the dog with a sledgehammer."
The witness told police she was intimidated by Lawrence, enough so that she backed away. That, according to the witness is when Lawrence approached the injured dog.
"This information was seen by Phoenix Police Animal Cruelty detectives later that week who responded and recontacted the dog owner and suspect," Lewis said.
According to Jessica Headley, who posted about the incident on a public Facebook group called Arizona Animal Rescue Alliance, the owners of the dog, including six children, got home about 10 minutes later to find their pet dead in the doorway of their home.
"She didn't have to die the way she did," Headley wrote in her post, which she has updated several times since the incident. "I begged and begged and pleaded for him to not go on property and do it. ... I couldn't stop him."
"[The owners] were devastated to learn that their pet Beau had been killed in this manner as they would have preferred their pet had been treated at an animal hospital as the witnesses were trying to do," the arresting officer wrote.
"The child reportedly has had crying episodes and nightmares as a result of the incident," according to Lawrence's court paperwork.
When detectives talked to Lawrence about what happened that night, "he confirmed that he euthanized the dog as a mercy killing."
"The suspect admitted he was reckless in killing the dog in this manner and with children present to witness it," reads the arresting officer's report.
Although he claimed to be doing what was "needed" for Beau "to put the dog out of his misery," he told police it's not something he would want somebody to do to his dog.
"The suspect agreed that any reasonable person would have an issue if they saw what he did," court paperwork reads. "The suspect admitted that if his dog were hit by a car he would object to someone doing what he did to his own pet.
During his initial court appearance Thursday, Lawrence only had one question for Commissioner Paula Williams, who set a secured appearance bond of $2,000. One condition of his release is that he not "have contact with any animals under any circumstances." He wanted to know about the time frame for that because he has pets.
Under Arizona law, Lawrence, who served with the National Guard for a time, could face a minimum of three months in jail and a maximum of 18 if convicted of a class 6 felony and 6 months to two years if convicted of a class 5 felony.
Full Name: Ivan Erick Lawrence
Weight: 170 lbs
Hair Color: BROWN
Eye Color: GREEN
Arrest Date: 04/19/2017
Arrest Agency: Maricopa County, Arizona
#1 ANIMAL-INTENTL CRUEL MISTREAT
#2 ANIMAL-INTENTL CRUEL MISTREAT
DETAILS FROM THE ARREST REPORT:
ACCORDING TO THE WITNESS THE CHILDREN WERE SCREAMING AND YELLING AT THE SUSPECT TO STOP. THE WITNESSES REPORTED THAT ATTEMPTS WERE MADE TO DISSUADE THE SUSPECT FROM HITTING THE DOG IN THE HEAD FOR A PERIOD OF TIME THAT LASTED BETWEEN 8-12 MINUTES BUT THE SUSPECTS
WIFE/GIRLFRIEND REPEATEDLY EGGED AND ENCOURAGED THE SUSPECT DO IT.
IT WAS TOWARD THE END OF THE DISPUTE THAT THE SUSPECT MENTIONED HE HAD A GUN AND SWUNG THE SLEDGEHAMMER IN A WAY THAT CAUSED THE WITNESS TO STEP OUT OF THE WAY DUE TO HER FELLING INTIMIDATED AND THE SUSPECT PROCEEDED TO APPROACH THE DOG WHICH WAS LYING BY HIS OWNERS FRONT DOOR AND SWUNG AND HIT THE DOG IN THE HEAD.
ACCORDING TO THE WITNESS THE DOG WAS NOT WHINING OR YELPING PRIOR TO BEING STRUCK IN THE HEAD BUT THE DOG YELPED LOUDLY WHEN THE SUSPECT SWUNG AND HIT THE DOG IN THE HEAD THE FIRST TIME.
THE WITNESS REPORTED THAT THE SUSPECT THEN SWUNG THE HAMMER A SECOND TIME AND HIT THE DOG IN THE HEAD. AFTER THE DOG WAS HIT THE SECOND TIME THE WITNESS REPORTED THAT THE DOGS BODY WAS MOVED FROM THE STRIKE AND THE HEAD WAS CANTED IN AN ABNORMAL POSITION.
THE WITNESS REPORTED THAT THE DOG WAS NOT BLEEDING IN A NOTICEABLE MANNER PRIOR TO BEING HIT BY THE SUSPECT BUT A LARGE QUANTITY OF BLOOD CAME OUT OF THE DOGS HEAD AFTER HE WAS HIT BY THE SUSPECT.
ANOTHER WITNESS HAD CALLED THE POLICE DURING THE INTERIM AND REPORTED THAT NUMEROUS EFFORTS WERE MADE TO STOP THE SUSPECT FROM KILLING THE INJURED DOG WITH A SLEDGEHAMMER. THE DOG OWNERS ARRIVED HOME A SHORT TIME LATER TO DISCOVER THEIR FAMILY PET WAS LYING IN THE ENTRYWAY IN A POOL OF BLOOD DECEASED.
THE SUSPECT DOES NOT HAVE ANY MEDICAL TRAINING PERTAINING TO ANIMALS AND ADMITTED THAT IT WAS POSSIBLE HE COULD HIT THE DOG AND IT NOT DIE AFTER THE FIRST HIT, HOWEVER THE SUSPECT CLAIMED THAT HE WAS IN THE NATIONAL GUARD AND AN EX ATHLETE WHICH WOULD ALLOW HIM TO KNOW THAT THE DOG NEEDED TO BE KILLED.
THE SUSPECT SAID AFTER HE KILLED THE DOG HE WENT HOME AND DID NOT CALL THE POLICE OR WAIT TO SPEAK WITH THE FAMILY WHO OWNED THE DOG. THE DOG OWNERS ARRIVED HOME WITH THEIR SIX CHILDREN TO DISCOVER THEIR PET WAS DECEASED.
VIDEO NEWS CLIP:
(AZ Family - April 21, 2017)