Man Caught Beating His Dog Faces Felony Charges

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A 23-year-old man was arrested for animal cruelty and assault after an incident in the parking lot near Country Kitchen on the evening of Jan. 29.

Payson Police Lt. Don Engler said some patrons at the restaurant saw William Thompson beating his Australian shepherd.

"Our animal control officer (Don Tanner) was at Country Kitchen in an off-duty capacity and people came in the restaurant saying there was a guy beating his dog out in the parking lot," Engler said.

Tanner went outside and called the police.

"He was on his cell phone with the police," Engler said, "and when the suspect in the case realized he was calling the police, he went to his vehicle and pulled a gun out."

Engler said Thompson allegedly threatened a witness at the scene.

"He semi-threatened Tanner," Engler said, "but he pointed the gun at a witness."

Officers charged Thompson with cruelty to animals, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and disorderly conduct.

Engler said the dog was not seriously hurt and was released to Thompson's female companion.

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