AUSTIN (KXAN) — Police responded to a call describing a man allegedly “beating a dog,” on Sunday. The suspect, identified as Robert Lawrence Laird, 61, was described by witnesses as “dragging” the dog and hitting it with a rope.
According to an affidavit, witnesses followed Laird as he walked with the dog near the Texaco gas station at East Slaughter Lane and Brandt Road before calling the police.
When police arrived, police found Laird sitting outside the store with a brown and white dog. Police say they told the suspect that witnesses reported him hitting his dog.
According to the affidavit, Laird said his dog, Coffee, had gone into the road without permission and he was not hitting the dog but was hitting the ground next to the dog.
Police questioned the witnesses who claimed the suspect went to the middle of the road after the dog and dragged the dog from the road to the grass as the dog remained laying down. Police say the witnesses saw Laird striking the dog with a thick blue rope he used as a leash then punching the dog “all over.”
The witnesses added they saw the suspect punch Coffee more as the two went into the store and again while Laird sat outside, police say.
Laird is charged with cruelty to non-livestock animals, a third-degree felony.