OCALA, Fla. (WOGX FOX 51) -
An Ocala man has been arrested on an aggravated animal cruelty charge after police officers said he had beaten and stabbed an American Boxer-Labrador mix dog named "Molly."
Steven Fleming, 49, also faces one count of resisting without violence when authorities said he ran from officers who were investigating calls of a possible domestic dispute Sunday evening.
Several neighbors reported having heard banging, glass breaking, yelling, and the yelping of a dog. After questioning Flemming, officers went to check on the dog, which had run to a neighbor's home.
Officer said the dog had visible injuries to the top of her head and blood in her nasal cavity and ears. Additionally, her third eyelids were visible and her face was swelling. Inside the home, officers found large amounts of destruction and blood all over the place. In a bathroom, they found a large amount of blood pooled and splattered in the shower and a baseball bat that had broken by splitting down the center.
Animal Services was summoned and took custody of the dog. Examination by a veterinarian revealed that she had suffered a fractured skull and three stab wounds to the head; one of which had penetrated the bone into the left sinus cavity.
Fleming, who was found to have a large amount of blood on his jeans, was taken into custody and booked into the Marion County Jail.
Officers searched for Fleming's live-in girlfriend, the owner of the dog, concerned that she was a possible victim. She was eventually located, passed out beneath a tree near the Snow Birds Tavern on 34 NW 20th St. She was highly intoxicated, but unharmed. Officers said she had not been present in the home when the alleged incident with the dog had occurred.
"Molly" is in the care of Animal Services and is being treated for her injuries.