MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – A Manatee County man is facing animal abuse and child abuse charges after deputies say he hung another man’s dog because it was barking.
Richard Hunt, a disabled Navy Veteran says his neighbor Robert Leroy Edwards, 38, strangled his emotional support dog, Midnight. Midnight was staying on his son’s property in Manatee County when it happened.
Deputies say Edwards killed the dog by wrapping an electrical cord around the dog’s neck and hung it.
“When I got the call, my son was screaming in the phone, he’s hanging my dog,” said Hunt. “So this was taking place as I was on the phone.”
Hunt rushed to the property and Manatee County deputies were already on the scene, and Midnight was dead.
Investigators say Edwards went into his home and asked a child to help him dispose of the dog’s remains. When the child refused, detectives say Edwards punched him in the face. Deputies have also charged him with child abuse.
Hunt can’t imagine how someone could be so cruel.
“It’s so terrible what he did to that dog. I keep thinking about how my dog suffered and how she looked at him and cried a whimper to try to get away it’s just terrible,” said Hunt. “What kind of person can do that? It’s disgusting.”
Now, Hunt vows to make it to every hearing involving Edwards, hoping the legal system will hold him responsible for what he’s accused of doing.
“He needs to have the book thrown at him. And if the book’s not heavy enough, we need to find more books, said Hunt. “That’s just how I feel about it.”
Authorities are not releasing where the incident happened because it could identify the abuse victim.
Edwards is being held in jail without bond.