A Missouri man accused of using tape to bind a small dog and throw him into a ditch last week thought the animal was spying on him and giving the information to the police, authorities said.
Authorities charged Paul Garcia, 39, of Barnhart, Missouri, on Thursday with felony animal abuse and armed criminal action in connection with the incident, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Wednesday.
Police said he wrapped the dog’s mouth and legs in duct tape and electrical tape before tossing him into the ditch.
A sheriff’s deputy discovered the dog in a ditch in rural Jefferson County on February 9. The dog, a dachshund named Flick, was found malnourished, cold, and possibly concussed, deputies said.
The dog was treated at a local animal hospital and reunited with his owner, Kaitlynn Kofron, on Friday.
Kofron, who lives not too far away from Garcia, said Flick had run away before the incident.
Investigators eventually identified Garcia as a suspect and arrested him after examining the fingerprints on the electrical tape. A Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson said the fingerprints in a law enforcement database matched Garcia’s.
Garcia told officers he found the dog hiding under his truck while he was in the process of installing speakers, according to court documents.
The 39-year-old told detectives he thought the animal had a camera that law enforcement used to track his every move, and he said he placed the bound dog in a bucket and threw him out the window because he panicked, the documents stated.
Garcia is in custody at the Jefferson County Jail, where he is being held on $50,000 bond, KMOV reported.