Man Who Dragged Dog Faces Arraignment
By Jacqueline Sit, NEWS 9
ARDMORE, Oklahoma -- A dog was dragged to death behind a bike and Thursday the man accused of the cruelty faced a judge in Ardmore.
"He couldn't hold his head up, its tongue was hanging out the side, the pads of its feet were ripped off, just dangling and there were piles of blood," witness John Rhodes said.
Pictures of the dog were part of a preliminary hearing for Antonio Ray in a Carter County courtroom where he was charged with animal cruelty.
The incident happened in March along a road where police say Ray dragged a pit bull with his bicycle for a quarter mile, leaving behind a bloody trail. John Rhodes saw what happened and stopped Ray.
"He said he was taking it to the pound because it kept jumping over the fence," Rhodes said.
Ardmore Animal Control transported the dog to a local animal shelter where it later died. Carter County District Attorney Craig Ladd said the case is unique.
"Sometimes we see cases where animals are neglected, obviously this case is different because the allegations involved some pretty serious abuse," said Carter County District Attorney Craig Ladd.
"We don't think there's enough evidence to convict and sentence this man for 20 years in prison for transporting a pit bull to the pound," said defense attorney Mike Tipps.
Tipps, Ray's defense attorney, said the DA is under pressure by outside sources.
"That's the same group that's protesting the president killing a fly so if the DA will be influenced by that then so be it, but this is not a fly, this is a human being we're dealing with here and his life is at stake," Tipps said.
"We've received a lot of letters from concerned citizens about this sort of allegation in this case. However, it doesn't matter whether we're receiving letters or not we, take these sorts of allegations and crimes very seriously," Ladd said.
Ray remained free on bond Thursday night and the arraignment is scheduled for August 12 at the Carter County courthouse.
If Ray is convicted, he could face up to five years in jail for animal cruelty. PETA has also been lobbying to the district attorney's office for tougher punishment and counseling.