‘Field goal-style’ kick of dog’s head in front of officer lands man in jail

AUSTIN (KXAN) — In plain view of an Austin police officer, a man drew his leg back and kicked his dog in the head with full force, “as if he was attempting to kick a field goal in a football game,” the officer wrote in his arrest report Saturday night.

The officer was called to the parking lot of the 1144 Airport Blvd. Walgreens at 11:13 p.m. because witnesses claimed to see a man hitting a dog. The officer found a man, later identified as Freddie Howard, 63, standing near a truck with a bulldog on a chain. When the officer asked Howard what he was doing, he claimed he was trying to get his dog to go in the truck.

When the officer asked Howard for identification, he walked as if he was going to get it but then turned around and began yelling at the dog that was sitting behind the officer. The officer noted in the arrest affidavit that Howard walked to the dog and kicked it in the head, which caused the dog to flinch and seemingly experience pain.

The officer again asked for ID and Howard turned hostile, resulting in the officer arresting him “due to the way he tortured the dog.”

When the officer frisked the man, he found a bag of marijuana, to which Howard exclaimed “Yeah, I smoke marijuana, so what.”

Howard continued to not identify himself to the officer, only responding with obscenities and eventually only his driver’s license number, which the officer noted is not an accepted form of identification. As Howard was being processed, another officer had to identify him.

Howard is currently listed in the Travis County Jail on charges of animal cruelty, possession of marijuana and failure to identify. His bond has been set at $10,000 and he will not be allowed to own any more dogs, and must stay 50 yards away from them, if he were to be released.

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