LAKELAND, Fla. (WFLA) — A Lakeland man is charged for beating a teenager who he wrongly blamed for the death of his dog, according to Polk County deputies.
According to deputies, the 15-year-old boy was walking to the store near 3815 Knights Station Road, when he noticed a dog had apparently been hit and killed by car.
The resident, 25-year-old Antwan Houston, came out and blamed the boy for the death of his dog and demanded the boy compensate him, according to PCSO deputies.
“He picks up his dog and just looks at me. The look he gave me I’ll never forget,” the boy, who did not want to be identified, told News Channel 8.
The boy said he is still terrified after the entire ordeal.
“He set the dog down and hustled over to the side of the street. He was like, ‘that dog was like a son to me. The dog ran after you because you were walking on the street.'”
According to a release, Houston grabbed the boy’s headphones, which were around his neck, and the boy pulled away. Houston then began hitting the boy, knocking him to the ground, and continued hitting and kicking him.
“He just kept hitting me, and hitting me. I blocked my face with my arms,” the teen told News Channel 8.
A witness told WFLA she was too scared to intervene.
“He was just beating on the poor fellow. I could hear him kicking his head. I could hear it,” the woman said.
“He just kept hitting me and finally I heard an old man pulled him off of me,” the teen said.
According to deputies, it was Houston’s roommate who pulled the man away from the victim, allowing the child to run away and call law enforcement.
The victim, who suffered several abrasions, said that if it wasn’t for the roommate, he believes Houston would have killed him.
Houston told the detective that he blamed the boy for his dog’s death, because he was wearing a hoodie and walking by his yard while the dog was not tethered.
There was a lot traffic in the area and there was no evidence that the boy had anything to do with the dog’s death.
Houston was charged with robbery without a firearm/weapon (F-2). His criminal history includes five felony and five misdemeanor charges, including carrying a concealed weapon, drug possession, DWLSR and violation of probation.
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