CLINTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WXYZ) — A surprising development in a social media animal cruelty case we first told you about in September, as a key witness tried to claim a reward.
In the disturbing video now gone viral, there’s the abuse you can see: a man appearing to punch a dog multiple times. What you can’t see is also concerning to Macomb County Animal Control Chief Jeff Randazzo.
“He watched this crime being committed, this dog being tortured and didn’t do anything to stop it,” says Chief Randazzo.
The video was filmed in a Clinton Township home, according to police, but the man and dog weren’t there when officers arrived.
Theresa Sumpter, Director and Founder of the Detroit Pit Crew Dog Rescue, wanted to help track them down.
“We did offer a $2,000 reward for anybody that could identify the person and help make sure an arrest was made,” says Sumpter.
They received lots of calls, but one stood out from the rest.
“The person who took the video was trying to claim the $2,000 reward,” says Sumpter.
She was shocked and immediately called police.
“It’s very disturbing. To think that he actually filmed animal abuse while it was occurring, he doesn’t step up to say anything, he posted it on Snapchat and then later on he’s trying to claim the reward money,” Sumpter says.
Needless to say, he was not given the money. He has not been charged either. The prosecutor’s office says there isn’t enough evidence to show he had criminal intent in posting the video.
“Where does this case stand?” asks Sumpter. “We’d like to know what’s the condition of the dog? Where is the dog? How is the dog doing?”
The Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office says charges have been authorized for the man in the video, and they expect him to turn himself in next week.
Chief Randazzo says that man did not own the dog he appears to be punching. The dog belonged his cousin who was horrified by the video. Chief Randazzo says the dog is now safe with its owner.