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 recorded 23-year-old Marcus Chiddister punching 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 in the same vehicle, a gold-colored Chrysler, shown in the video.
When they questioned him, he admitted that the 2-year-old pit bull had eaten his food — which made him angry. Later, he reportedly told police he was not punching the dog but was instead punching cockroaches in a pile of clothing in the backseat.
Police then retrieved Sheeba from Chiddister's home for examination. Lee County Domestic Animal Services found “non-accidental” injuries on Sheeba and took possession of the dog.
Among the injuries sustained by the dog were broken teeth, hemorrhaging and swelling of the eyes, and bruising consistent with animal cruelty.
Police filed a petition to the court in May asking that Chiddister and his girlfriend Kiara Howse never be allowed to own a dog, or any other animal, again.
"These people aren't human beings!" said Sheriff Carmine Marceno about the couple.
In addition to the prison time, Chiddister was sentenced to two years of probation after release.
Marceno issued a forceful response to the sentencing.
“I will ALWAYS protect those who cannot protect themselves. Punching an animal over and over again with a closed fist is disgusting," said the sheriff 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 their hard work led to the sentencing for 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 beating dog at Fort Myers RaceTrac gas stationwww.youtube.com
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