REYNOLDSVILLE BOROUGH, Pa. (EYT) – A local man was criminally charged for allegedly abusing a dog and rubbing its nose in feces.
Court documents indicate the Reynoldsville Borough Police Department filed the following criminal charge against 35-year-old Justin Rufus Jerrell, of Reynoldsville, on Wednesday, September 6, in Magisterial District Judge David B. Inzana’s office:
– Cruelty to Animals, Misdemeanor 2
According to a criminal complaint, Sgt. Tammy Murray, of the Reynoldsville Borough Police Department, was dispatched to E. Main Street in Reynoldsville Borough, Jefferson County, around 10:04 a.m. on Thursday, August 30, for a complaint regarding cruelty to an animal.
It was noted in the complaint that Sgt. Murray has responded to this address several times in the past and is familiar with the defendant, Justin Jerrell.
According to the complaint, Sgt. Murray arrived on the scene and saw Jerrell sitting at the top of the stairs on the porch in front of his apartment. She approached him and explained that she received a call reporting that he was “beating on” his dog and asked him what was going on.
Jerrell responded, “I wasn’t beating on him. I was disciplining him for (defecating) on the porch,” the complaint states.
When asked how he disciplined him, Jerrell said, “I rubbed his nose in the (expletive) and hit him on the butt with this strap,” the complaint continues.
Jerrell then reached for the strap that was beside him, which was white and appeared to be an inch to an inch and a half wide. Sgt. Murray asked where the dog was, and Jerrell said, “Right over there.” He pointed to a dog that was lying beside a grill against a railing. Sgt. Murray looked over at the dog, which was shaking, and asked to look at him. Jerrell said, “Sure,” and he tried to call the dog over. The dog would not come to Jerrell, the complaint states.
According to the complaint, Sgt. Murray walked over to the dog, which stayed hunched down scared. She observed feces on the dog’s nose and could also see the hair standing up on its back next to its tail where it had been hit with the strap.
The complaint states that Sgt. Murray “talked calmly” with the dog and called him. The dog stood up, and Sgt. Murray immediately took a picture of the strap mark.
Sgt. Murray advised Jerrell that was not discipline, and it was abuse. She told Jerrell, “You can’t hit the dog with a strap and rub his nose in feces,” according to the complaint.
For the safety of the dog, he was removed from the residence, the complaint notes.
A witness provided a written statement, indicating she was sitting in her bedroom located next to Jerrell’s porch, and she could hear Jerrell beating the dog saying: “You will learn one way or the other not to (expletive) on the (expletive) porch,” the complaint states.
“All she could hear was (the dog) crying in pain,” the witness wrote.
She could also hear Jerrell tell the dog, “Good for you,” and “You can lick your own (expletive) off your face since you can eat your own (expletive) all the time,” the complaint indicates.
The witness said that is when she called 9-1-1.
According to the complaint, the witness also stated this was not the first time Jerrell had done things to this dog. She said on another occasion, Jerrell was on the porch when the dog was playing with some kids and the dog accidentally scratched one of them on the face. She witnessed Jerrell grab the dog by the throat and then throw it into the apartment.
When Jerrell brought the dog back out, it peed on the porch. The witness said once again, Jerrell grabbed the dog by the throat and choked him. He then pushed the dog’s face into the pee and then began beating on it, the complaint states.
Jerrell faces a preliminary hearing on Wednesday, September 27, at 12:00 p.m. with Judge Inzana presiding.