Animal cruelty

Teen arrested for killing family cat in dryer Monday

MINNEOLA, Fla.—A teenager is facing a charge of animal cruelty—excessively cruel, after putting the family cat in the dryer and killing it, according to an arrest affidavit.

Shortly before 6 p.m. Monday, Lake County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to a home on Plum Lake Drive in Minneola on a report of a suspicious incident. When they arrived, the mother of Cayden Mikkel Williams told a deputy her son had just killed the family cat, named “Mouse” by putting it in the dryer.

She said when she was coming into the neighborhood with her other children, she saw Williams walking and he motioned for her to stop. She rolled the window down and Williams reportedly said, “So Mouse…” She replied, “what?” and Williams responded, “so he was in the dryer,” the affidavit states.

She returned home and found Mouse the cat lying on top of the dryer wrapped in a piece of fabric, dead. Mouse had blood coming from its nose and its ears were burnt and Williams’ clothes were on the floor in front of the dryer. She told the deputy the dryer has a 70-minute timer and there were approximately 30 minutes left on the timer, indicating Mouse was in the dryer for possibly 40 minutes, according to the affidavit, and after a brief argument Williams left.

The deputy observed dried blood all over the inside of dryer, he noted in the affidavit.

Williams’ mother told the deputy they buried Mouse by his favorite bush in the yard and the deputy called LCSO Animal Control and they exhumed Mouse’s remains for evidence, according to the affidavit. Williams, who will turn 17 on Friday, came back home and told the deputy he knew why deputies were speaking to him and he said he put his clothes in the dryer and did not see Mouse or hear him making any sounds or a banging noise after he started the dryer.

Williams also told the deputy he did not want his mother or siblings to be loud after they found out Mouse was dead because he did not want law enforcement to be notified, the affidavit states.

Williams was arrested, transported to the Lake County Jail and turned over to the Department of Juvenile Justice.



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Man who Killed French Bulldog in 2021 Clermont Botched C-Section Headed to Prison

CLERMONT, Fla.—One of the men arrested after a botched C-section killed Lyla the French bulldog in Clermont in 2021, is headed to prison after pleading no contest to numerous charges last week, according to Lake County Clerk of Court online records.

Frankie Huertas Rivera, 36, pleaded no contest Friday—exactly three years to the day Lyla lost her life. In 2021, Larry Colon, then 50, paid Rivera $650 to perform a C-section on Lyla in Colon’s living room and Colon’s daughter filmed the horrific surgery and posted it to TikTok Feb. 9, 2021.

According to a probable cause affidavit in the case, the video showed Colon holding Lyla down while Rivera cuts her open and she is seen squirming and shaking in pain as Rivera removes puppies from her. After the surgery Colon took Lyla — after she was already dead — to a local vet and an employee performed chest compressions on the French bulldog for 15 minutes in an attempt to save her life. Lyla was found with two dead puppies still inside her and was believed to have died from septic shock secondary to contamination and additional puppies left in her uterus.

The veterinarian told a Lake County Sheriff’s Office deputy Lyla and her two dead puppies “suffered unjust cruelty and suffering due to unethical medical services performed,” the affidavit states.

Colon was later arrested on a warrant for animal cruelty and Rivera was picked up in Hernando County for on a warrant for practicing veterinary medicine without a license, conspiracy to commit animal cruelty and seven counts of aggravated animal cruelty.

River pleaded no contest to all of his charges and was sentenced more than two years in prison, followed by five years of probation; he was also ordered not to have contact with animals and must take an eight-week class on animal cruelty with the Humane Society.

Colon’s case remains open.

Previous story: “Lyla” The Dog Dead Following Botched Amateur C-Section In Clermont Home – Inside Lake

Man who Killed French Bulldog in 2021 Clermont Botched C-Section Headed to Prison Read More »

Man Admits Shooting Neighbor’s Dogs, Killing 1, Held on $150K Bond

An earlier version of this story misidentified the deceased dog due to an error in the arrest affidavit. The dog’s name is Mary.

SORRENTO, Florida—A Sorrento man is in the Lake County Jail after he admitted shooting his neighbor’s dogs Saturday night, killing 13-year-old Mary, according to an arrest affidavit.

Lake County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to Holopaw Trail in Sorrento shortly before 9 p.m. Saturday after the victim reported her neighbor, Sheldon Keith Hayward, 65, had shot her dogs, killing one of them. The woman told LCSO she let the dogs out in her backyard and did not realize her gate was open. The dogs apparently escaped through the open gate and when her daughter went to look for the pups, she found one of the dogs, Mary, dead, about 5 feet from the road. The victim said the dogs were not aggressive.

The victim’s daughter said when she exited the house, she heard a gunshot but did not realize at first Hayward had shot her dogs. She walked toward the road and found Manny the dog dead from a gunshot wound to the head and a second dog, Miller, also shot near the road. When the victim and her husband went to retrieve Miller, Hayward pointed a gun at them, according to the affidavit. The victim’s husband was unable to speak to deputies because he was at the animal hospital with Miller.

LCSO walked over to Hayward’s home to interview him and found a pool of blood “within seven steps from the road,” and walked another 15 to 20 yards to Hayward’s gate. He stepped out of his home and told deputies a group of aggressive dogs came over to his home and one of the dogs jumped on his fence but did not growl or bark at him. Hayward said he grabbed a shovel to attempt to scare the dogs, but they did not leave, and he grabbed his recently purchased rifle and shot at the dogs approximately five times. He told deputies he was within his fence when he shot the dogs.

Hayward was arrested for two counts of animal cruelty and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. He was transported to LCJ, where he is being held on $150,000 bond.

Man Admits Shooting Neighbor’s Dogs, Killing 1, Held on $150K Bond Read More »

State Attorney Creates Animal Cruelty Task Force

OCALA, Florida—In an effort to streamline delivering justice to those who hurt animals, State Attorney Bill Gladson has created an Animal Cruelty Task Force for the Fifth Judicial Circuit that includes Lake, Citrus, Hernando, Marion and Sumter counties, his office said in a press release last week.

The task force includes the Florida College of Veterinary Medicine, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC,) county animal services, and local law enforcement agencies and the goal is for law enforcement, animal services and animal protection organizations to work together to investigate and prosecute animal cruelty crimes throughout the circuit, according to the press release.

State Attorney Bill Gladson PHOTO: Florida Bar

“My office is committed to aggressively prosecuting animal cruelty cases, and I am grateful for the team which shares our commitment,” Gladson stated. “The reach of these crimes goes beyond harm to innocent animals; these criminals pose a risk to the entire community.”

Animal abusers are five times more likely to commit violent crimes against people, according to the Animal Legal Defense Fund, nearly 70 percent have criminal records.

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Man Accused of Beating Pet Raccoon with Hammer, Threatening Roommate and Neighbor

MOUNT DORA, Florida—A Mount Dora man was arrested last week, accused of threatening his roommate, holding a “sewing” needle to his neighbor’s neck and beating a raccoon with a hammer that his roommate was caring for, according to an arrest affidavit.

The Lake County Sheriff’s Office responded to Circle Drive in Mount Dora on a report of a battery shortly after 5:30 p.m. Dec. 14 and when they arrived, a woman said her roommate, Tevin Keason Williams, 31, began punching her vehicle when she got home. A neighbor told deputies Williams threatened to kill him while holding a “sewing” needle to his neck; the man also told deputies Williams beat a raccoon with a hammer, according to the affidavit.

Tevin Williams PHOTO: Lake County Sheriff’s Office

The woman told LCSO she was caring for the raccoon and kept it in a kennel at the rear of the home. The deputy located the hammer, a mat with blood on it, and the raccoon. The raccoon was breathing when the deputy left the scene, he noted in the affidavit.

Williams was questioned and he said he was mad at his brother and another male and denied having any weapons, but a witness told the deputy Williams did walk up to the man’s porch and threaten him with the needle. Williams was arrested for aggravated animal cruelty and two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon; he was released from the Lake County Jail on $6,000 bond.

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