Tuesday, July 10, 2012
Carmel on the Case: Dog Attacks
A South Florida man facing a judge after police say he allowed a dog to attack a defenseless animal. Tonight, 7News uncovering his problem past. Cops say the suspect left a cat to die after it was viciously attacked by a dog in his care. Now we're learning this isn't the first time he's been in trouble. Investigative reporter Carmel Cafiero has our top story.
WSVN -- The video is hard to watch and even harder to forget. A man walks a dog right up to the front porch of a Fort Lauderdale business and the dog attacks a defenseless cat.
Thie video helped track him down after it was first broadcast by 7News, and now becomes evidence in a criminal case.
The case is against this man, 81-year-old Hume Hamilton who lives about a block away from the scene of the attack. The retired photographer has been arrested for animal cruelty and trespassing.
Wayne Spath: "He has not come in and says I'm sorry or come in and says it's me. He left that cat dead in a heap."
Wayne Spath says his pet Mamah, was a stray that adopted his bailbonds business 12 years ago.
He says she was part of the family, playing with his grandkids going home with them and also keeping the office company. When not inside he says she slept on the porch. He believes Mamah was sleeping when the dog attacked.
Wayne Spath: "He came onto my property. That cat was sleeping under the overhang where it sleeps all the time and he put that dog on the cat."
Carmel Cafiero: "You're convince of that?"
Wayne Spath: "Absolutely."
After a bystander helped get the cat away from the dog, the dog ends up off the leash and runs to attack the cat a second time.
Carmel Cafiero: "You've built a case?"
Wayne Spath: "I think we've built an air-tight case."
According to the arrest affidavit, Hamilton told Fort Lauderdale Police he was playing a game with the dog where he takes the dog to the cat and the cat runs away in fear.
7News has learned he was out on bond at the time of the attack in connection with another violent incident. Hamilton was charged last year with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon.
According to the police report, Hamilton and a female roommate got into an argument. He punched her four, five times in the neck and chest region, and then produced a kitchen knife and swung it towards the victim in an attempt to stab her. She had apparent defensive wounds on her inner hands, neck and legs.
Judge Michael Orlando: "You will be held no bond at this time."
In bond court, Hamilton got bad news. His original bond on the assault charge was revoked so he stays in jail. His attorney indicated he may have health issues
Public Defender: "And I'd like him to be able to be treated outside the jail facility if possible."
However on an adult dating site, Hamilton describes himself as healthy with sexual stamina. He has also posted graphic pictures of himself on the internet.
Carmel Cafiero: "No one answered the door at Hamilton's home and there was no sign of a dog. Animal Care says cases like this are handled on an individual basis so the dog's fate at this point is unknown."
The county does say the dog is owned by a woman who adopted it from the main shelter. But Hamilton was hit with a $500 fine because he was handling the dog at the time of the attack.