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June 2, 2014

Missouri men charged with animal cruelty

TIFTON — Two men from Fredericktown, Mo. were arrested Thursday after leaving five Beagle puppies in the trunk of the vehicle that they were traveling in, heading to south Florida.

According to an incident report filed at the Tifton Police Department, Officer Jasmine Carden reported that at approximately 6:32 a.m., she was sent to Days Inn on Highway 82 West in reference to dogs in the trunk of a vehicle. While en route, dispatch informed her that the vehicle in question was blue and displayed an Indiana tag.

Once on the scene, Carden made contact with the complainant who said that as he was preparing to leave the hotel, he could hear what he thought to be puppies whimpering and whining as he approached his semi-truck. He said he began combing the area for the whimpering and narrowed it to the blue car near his truck.

Carden said as she approached the vehicle, she could hear whimpering and whining coming from within the trunk of the vehicle, a 2013 Hyundai Elantra. The vehicle was locked and secured. As officers began searching the area, as well as questioning the hotel staff for the owner of the vehicle, she proceeded to knock on the window directly in front of the parked vehicle.

Carden made contact with a white male, later identified as 64-year-old Christopher Eck, and asked him if he was the owner of the blue car, to which he said yes. She instructed Eck to come outside to the vehicle and he complied. At this time, she also made contact with Eck's friend, 42-year-old Shannon Kyle Henson.

Carden requested for Eck to open the trunk of his vehicle after explaining why she was there. She discovered five male Beagle puppies in a small closed crate with no food or water. She asked the men about the puppies, which Eck explained that they were en route from Missouri to south Florida to give the puppies to his son and grandson. Henson said the puppies were from a litter that his female Beagle had given birth to approximately 10 weeks ago and confirmed Eck's statement.

He and Eck said they checked in at the hotel at approximately midnight that day, which hotel staff confirmed. Carden reported that Henson and Eck said they really didn't see anything wrong with leaving the puppies in the trunk for the evening. Henson said as they were driving from Missouri, they periodically let the puppies out for water and food.

Carden said the crate that the puppies were in contained towels that were covered in their urine and feces. Hotel staff said their facility was pet friendly with a small deposit. Animal Control was called to the scene.

After an investigation, Carden placed Eck and Henson under arrest. They were both charged with five counts of cruelty to animals. The five puppies were turned over to Animal Control.

In another matter, a 23-year-old man reported May 27 that he left the Waffle House on West Second Street around midnight and was walking south on Magnolia Drive, approaching Camden Way, when two black males dressed in all black ran up beside him and pistol whipped him above his right eye. They also punched him on his left flank. He said the offenders then pointed a gun at him and told him to give them all of his money. He said he complied and handed them $130.

The man said after taking the money, the two males fled the area, running north on Magnolia. He described one male as being approximately 6-foot tall and weighing 180 pounds with dreads. The other was approximately 5'07" and heavyset.

Also, Officer Anthony Hughes reported Sunday that he and Officer Bryan Rhodes responded to the 1700 block of Brookvale Drive due to shots being fired. Once on the scene, he stopped in front of a residence and noticed four red 12 gage shotgun shells on the ground on the east side of the yard by the road.

Hughes said he notified Rhodes of the shells and he informed him that the witness who he was speaking with had seen a black male with a stripped shirt and dark pants standing in the place where the shells were found with a large gun.

They made contact with the homeowner and asked if she had heard any shots. The woman said she heard something but wasn't sure what it was. Hughes then asked her if her son was home, and she replied that he wasn't and that she didn't know where he was.

He also asked her if anyone stayed in the wood building on the east side of the front yard and she said no, but her son sits out in the building sometimes. Hughes said he looked in the window and saw her son lying on a couch in the building as if he was sleep.

Hughes made contact with Augustus Brown III, 35, of Tifton and asked him if he heard the shots or if he had a shotgun and had shot the gun just to be shooting it. Brown said he didn't have a gun, but when he heard the shots, he went to the road to see what was going on.

A nearby neighbor reported that he heard the shots and exited his home to see where they were coming from. He said he noticed Brown standing under the street light with a gun and then entered into his yard with the gun. He went back inside his home and called E-911. Other witnesses also described the offender as being Brown, who was placed under arrest and charged with discharging a firearm in the city.

Hughes reported that he has been to the same residence due to shots being fired in the past.

To contact reporter Latasha Ford, call 382-4321.

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