Austin man accused of hitting sister’s dog with a hammer

Richard James Mizell booking photo (Austin Police Department photo)
Richard James Mizell booking photo (Austin Police Department photo)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — A 52 year old man is in jail accused of hitting his sister’s dog with a hammer, leaving it with a fractured skull.

A woman told police her dog, Karma, was tethered in the backyard when her brother, Richard Mizell, came home and started to taunt the dog and said he was going to kill it. According to an arrest affidavit, Mizell and the dog did not get along. The suspect’s sister said he hit the dog in the top of the head and caused her to bleed from her nose.

When police spoke to Mizell, he claimed he had no idea the dog was tethered and that the dog tried to attack him as he was walking to the house. The suspect claimed the dog bit him on the calf and “dragged him to the ground,” continued in the affidavit. Authorities determined the suspect had no injuries and the dog was “completely friendly and docile.”

The Austin Police Department has identified Mizell as a ‘Top Offender.’ Court documents show he has a significant criminal history, including 32 total arrests and 21 convictions.

Even though the dog owner had to surrender the dog to the city because she couldn’t afford the veterinary care, the dog was able to make a full recovery. Mizell is currently charged with cruelty to non-livestock animals.

Karma is available for adoption at Austin Pets Alive. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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