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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Homeless man arrested after allegedly choking his dog

Joshua David Williams
Joshua David Williams

A homeless man in Leesburg put up a fight with officers arresting him for allegedly abusing his dog.

Joshua David Williams, 49, was charged animal cruelty and resisting arrest after the incident, which happened Wednesday afternoon near 2200 Citrus Blvd. While being taken to the Lake County Jail, Williams reportedly said he was going to kill everyone behind the nearby Aldi store and/or Denny’s upon his release, according to the Leesburg Police arrest report.

Lake County Animal Control contacted police to report that Williams, who was walking southbound on the sidewalk, had abused his dog by choking the animal with a lead. When an animal control official tried to talk to him, Williams started yelling and walked away, the report said.

The police officer then tried to speak to Williams and ordered him to stop. He ignored the officer’s commands and continued walking south. In response, the officer drove his vehicle just south of Williams’ location and pulled over to question and detain him. This made Williams even angrier, according to the report.

The officer told Williams he was being detained on animal cruelty charges, to which Williams stiffened his arms and braced himself against the officer’s patrol vehicle. This prevented the officer from properly restraining him. The officer told Williams if he did not comply, he would be put on the ground to gain compliance. He still didn’t listen. When another officer arrived, both officers took Williams to the ground and placed him under arrest, the report said.

Animal control advised they had a video of Williams abusing his dog in the same area the officer originally spoke to him. The video showed Williams pulling the dog upwards and causing most to all its weight to be on its neck area. Williams used a makeshift leash at that time, according to the report.

Animal control came to the area to investigate when they saw him walking down the road. They then could see the orange lead around the dog’s neck being used as a leash. Williams again picked up the animal using the lead with no other support to its body. All four of the dog’s legs were lifted off the ground during the action, the report said.

The dog was taking deep breaths and gasping with bloodshot eyes as animal control watched the situation unfold. The lead did not have anything to keep it from tightening on the dog’s neck, the report said.

The dog was seized and taken for veterinary services due to the excessive infliction of unnecessary pain and suffering. Officers on scene were able to observe the dog and concluded with animal control’s advisement for immediate medical care.

Williams is being held without bond.

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