A Florida man was sentenced to three years in prison after he was caught on video repeatedly punching a dog in Fort Myers.
A bystander filmed Marcus Chiddister, 23, hitting a 2-year-old pit bull named Sheeba in the backseat of a car parked at a gas station near the Fort Myers RaceTrac in March.
Deputies were investigating the video at the same gas station when Chiddister drove up to the same vehicle, a gold Chrysler, shown in the video.
When questioned, he admitted that the 2-year-old pit bull had eaten his food, which made him angry. He later reportedly told police he wasn’t punching the dog, but was punching roaches in a pile of clothes in the back seat.
Police then retrieved Sheeba from Chiddister’s house for examination. Lee County Animal Services found “non-accidental” injuries to Sheeba and took possession of the dog.
The dog’s injuries included broken teeth, bleeding and swelling of the eyes and bruises consistent with animal abuse.
Police filed a petition in court in May asking that Chiddister and his girlfriend Kiara Howse be prevented from owning a dog or any other animal again.
“These people are not human beings!” Sheriff Carmine Marceno said of the couple.
In addition to the prison time, Chiddister was sentenced to two years of probation.
Marceno issued a strong response to the ruling.
“I will ALWAYS protect those who cannot protect themselves. Punching an animal over and over again with a closed fist is disgusting,” the sheriff said in a Facebook post.
“My detectives and legal team worked tirelessly alongside our partners at the State Attorney’s Office,” he added. “I am proud to say that their hard work led to the conviction of this criminal’s abusive actions.”
Sheeba has found a new home with a family in Florida.
Here’s a news video about the incident:
Man Arrested for Hitting Dog at RaceTrac Gas Station in Fort Myers www.youtube.com
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