Men Tortured Turtle Then Beat Veteran Who Tried to Stop Them

Garry Blough Jr.

Two Florida men were given probation for animal cruelty and assault after beating up a U.S. military veteran who tried to stop them from torturing a turtle, court documents say.

Daytona Beach residents Ryan Ponder, 23, and Johnnie Beveritt, 18, were accused of attacking disabled Navy veteran Garry C. Blough, Jr. in February, when he tried to get them to stop hurting a turtle the pair found nearby, WESH reported.

The suspects were charged with battery, a first-degree misdemeanor, as well as animal cruelty for the death of the turtle. The two were eventually given 18 months of probation on the felony counts and 12 months on the battery charge. The sentences are to run concurrently. Both also had some time served in jail applied against their sentences.

Additionally, Ponder and Beveritt were ordered to take anger management classes and told to stay clear of any animals during their probationary period. Finally, they must pay their victim $16,500 in restitution.

Blough, though, said he was disappointed that the pair were not required to plead guilty to the charges.

“This is their second chance. Their only second chance,” Blough said, according to TheLedger.com.

“They need a whole renewed style of thinking,” Blough added.

A third suspect, a 16-year-old boy, was also charged in the incident, but due to his age his name and records were not released.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at igcolonel@hotmail.com.

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