Suspect charged after officer witnesses him kicking dog

AUSTIN – An Austin man is facing an animal cruelty charge after police say an officer witnessed him kick a dog in the head.

The arrest affidavit for Freddie Lee Howard, 63, states police were called to the Walgreen’s along Airport Boulevard around 11:15 p.m. June 10 for a report of a man hitting a dog. The officer noted in their affidavit that after making contact with Howard, they saw Howard draw “his leg back and kicked the dog full force in its head as if he was attempting to kick a field goal.” The officer handcuffed Howard and during a search located a small amount of marijuana in his right front pocket. Howard refused to identify himself to police when he was handcuffed, and the affidavit states he was identified by another officer who had located his information.

Police booked Howard into the Travis County Jail on a felony charge of cruelty to non-livestock animals and possession of marijuana. Online jail records state he is being held on combined $12,000 bond. The affidavit states a bail restriction that he must stay 50 yards away from any canines. A booking photo was not available as of 1:20 p.m. Monday.

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