HOUSTON, Texas – A contractor for CenterPoint Energy in Houston struck two family pet dogs in the head with a large wrench. The two dogs did not appear aggressive and did not appear to engage after being hit.
The family watched in horror as the man, a contractor for Houston energy provider CenterPoint Energy walked across their back yard and assaulted their two eight-year-old Weimaraner bird dogs with a wrench. The service contractor had been sent by the CenterPoint contractor to shut off the family’s service for non-payment. CenterPoint provides natural gas service to these customers.
In the security video below, the man, who the family said entered their back yard without knocking or notice, is walking across the pool deck area of the back yard. He is approached by the two large but friendly looking dogs who do not appear to be barking or in any other way aggressive.
The man pulls out a what looks like a large crescent wrench and starts swinging. The first dog manages to duck under the first swing but is hit in the face on the back swing as the man strikes again. He then strikes the dog solidly in the snout with the wrench. That dog quickly retreats.
The second dog appears to try and run around the man, not towards him, and then seems to be struck in the back of his head or face. That dog can be seen yelping in pain as it runs away.
The dogs were in the yard of Mike Wilcox and his wife. Their names are Flash and Shutter. The incident occurred while Wilcox’s wife and 4-year-old son were watching through the back window.
“Right here, in our backyard, where we’re thinking it’s private. It’s supposed to be safe. Here’s our dogs in their own backyard where they’re supposed to be safe and sleep or whatever but to be woken up by a stranger five or six feet away from them…I mean, it’s pretty upsetting,” Willcox told Fox 26 reporter Angela Chen.
One of the dogs lost a tooth from the attack and its jaw has become infected and will require surgery. So far, the family has incurred at least $2,000 in veterinary bills. The other dog had damage to its eye socket and received a concussion, the video reveals.
The man works for a CenterPoint contractor, Star Corporation, Chen reported. The company’s owner said he has suspended the employee pending an investigation. He said the man told him the Wilcox family was aware he was there to turn off their service and put the dogs out to intimidate him.
Fox 26 reviewed the family’s security video which had several camera angles of the attack. Chen reported the man never stopped to identify himself and went straight into the back yard. He ignored “Beware of Dogs” signs and proceeded to the yard.
A spokesman for CenterPoint told Chen their policy is for employees to retreat if they feel uncomfortable with the presence of dogs. “For CenterPoint employees who are conducting work in the field, they are trained to retreat from those areas and not engage with the pet,” CenterPoint’s Leticia Lowe told the Fox reporter. “We are reviewing our processes to ensure that CenterPoint Energy employees are always respectful of property and pets. That is a priority to us, and the video was horrifying to see. It’s disturbing to see and we are very sad that this happened.”
As for the non-payment issue, the Kingwood family told Fox 26 they believed their payments for the natural gas service were on automatic payment. They promptly paid the past due bill had service was restored on the very same day.
“They’ve never bitten anybody,” Willcox told the Houston Chronicle’s Jessica Hamilton. “They’re very friendly. I’ve had them since they were puppies.”
Flash will have surgery on his swollen jaw on Friday.
A report was filed with the Houston Police Department.
CenterPoint Energy did not return a call for additional information from Breitbart Texas.