OCALA, Fla. — A dog is recovering after a man claiming to be its owner threw the animal into oncoming traffic twice, police said.
Michael Britton is facing charges of animal cruelty, assaulting an officer and resisting arrest.
Fran Sciotto told police that she was driving Tuesday night with her 10-year-old son, Nicholas Blitch, when she saw Britton throw the dog in front of her vehicle near the Walmart at 2600 SW 19th Avenue in Ocala.
Sciotto said she couldn’t stop in time to avoid hitting the dog.
"I just saw something big and furry," Sciotto told Channel 9's Lauren Seabrook. "He had a crazed look in his eye and he was very intent on throwing that dog in front of another car."
“When I heard my mother and Angel screaming, I knew something was wrong,” said Blitch.
Police said Britton picked up the dog and threw it again into the road.
“And he did it again to another oncoming car. (He) threw the dog in front that car and then the dog had taken off,” Sciotto said.
Officers said they had to use a Taser on Britton twice because he assaulted and threatened a female officer and continued to resist.
“I was really upset and I was scared the dog wasn’t going to be found. And I was also kind of angry at the man because he was trying to kill that dog,” Blitch said.
Dozens of people searched for the injured dog in the woods for two hours. The dog was later found and taken to the veterinarian, where it was discovered it had internal injuries. The dog, named "Buck" by officers, is expected to survive, police said. Buck did not suffer from any broken bones.
“He was very calm. He let us approach him. He let us pet him. You could tell he did not want to get up. He wasn’t moving,” said Lt. Brian Young of the Ocala Police Department.
Officers who worked the incident put their money together to pay for Buck's medical bills, police said. One officer said he wants to adopt Buck as soon as the dog recovers so it won’t be placed back in Britton’s custody.
“It’s good to know the dog is going to be taken care of and (Britton is) behind bars where he should be,” said passenger Angel Marrero.
Britton told police someone stabbed his dog with an arrow and that he was trying to put it out of its misery by throwing into the road. However, police said they never found evidence of the dog being stabbed.
Cox Media Group