A North Carolina family’s pooch is dead after a man repeatedly stabbed the 11-year-old pet while its owner was playing pickleball nearby in a park, officials said.
James Wesley Henry, 43, faces felony cruelty to animal charges in connection with the June 26 killing of Beignet, a mixed-breed dog, in Asheville, local cops said.
Liesbeth Mackie told the Asheville Watchdog that she was in Weaver Park with Beignet and secured the dog on a leash not far from the court where she was playing.
Mackie and witnesses said they noticed Henry acting erratically minutes before he allegedly attacked the dog with a knife.
“All of a sudden, I noticed that there was some commotion happening with her dog,” Eric Hulin, who was also playing pickleball at the time, told the Watchdog. “I saw the attacker, definitely with all of his strength — with what I thought at the time was a closed fist — slamming on the dog, really.”
“I turned and looked at the dog, and saw its last couple of yelps and twitches,” Hulin continued. “It was covered in blood. There was blood everywhere. It took me a moment because I wasn’t sure what happened.”
Asheville Police Capt. Michael Lamb told the publication that “the guy killed the dog with a knife, basically eviscerating it.”
Police took Henry into custody at the park without incident.
He was being held on $10,000 bond at the Buncombe County Detention Facility.
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“My three children, husband and I are devastated,” Mackie told Mackie told WLOS about the loss of Beignet. “This happened in broad daylight at Weaver Park. My fellow players were just a few feet away, which apparently didn’t scare off Beignet’s assailant.”
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