A man is facing an animal cruelty charge after he allegedly hit his sister's dog in the head with a hammer while the animal was tethered in the backyard.
According to an arrest affidavit, police were called by 52-year-old Richard Mizell's sister on Dec. 3, 2016, to report the incident and that her dog was profusely bleeding from its nose.
Mizzell's sister told police when they arrived on the scene that her brother and Karma, a 2-year-old brown-white Pitbull that weighs about 61 pounds, have a strained relationship, and have never gotten along.
The sister said she heard her brother pull into her driveway and begin verbally attacking Karma, yelling that, "[Karma] does not belong here" and that he was going to "kill Karma."
Mizzell allegedly walked up to Karma with a hammer and began taunting her at the limit of her tether. When Karma got on her hind legs to get at Mizzell, he hit her in the head with the hammer - causing her to retreat, the affidavit said.
The sister said she found her dog bleeding from the head and nose.
When confronted by police, Mizzell claimed Karma was the attacker and that when he tried to run away she bit him and dragged him to the ground. As in act of self-defense, Mizzell said he struck Karma in the head while she was on his chest trying to bite his face and throat.
However, emergency Medical Services examined Mizzell and found no signs of injury.
Officers noted that Karma appeared friendly and docile with police at the scene and did not show signs of aggression.
After an investigation from a forensic veterinarian, he or she concluded that Mizzell's claims did not appear to hold up with the facts of the case. The Doctor said the angle at which Karma was struck would have been different if Mizzell had done it on his back, according to the affidavit. In regards to why he had the hammer, Mizzell said he was working on his truck.
Doctors said Karma suffered hemorrhaging in both eyes and swelling to the forehead area. She has made a full recovery.
Police said Richard Mizell has a substantial criminal record, totaling 32 arrests and 21 convictions in seven different states: sometimes providing false names and aliases.
In previous arrests, the affidavit said he faced charges for family violence assault, assault with a deadly weapon, evading and resisting arrest, and burglaries among other things. According to the affidavit, officers are requesting a higher bond be set due to Mizzell's likelihood to reoffend.