MITCHELL, S.D. – A South Dakota man was taken into custody after he reportedly tortured his girlfriend’s dog by binding its mouth and legs with duct-tape before brutally pummeling the animal with his bare hands, according to reports.
Aaron Hacecky, 25, was arrested July 30. He faces one count of cruelty to an animal, a Class 6 felony, one count of possession of a controlled substance, and one count of possession of drug paraphernalia, Law&Crime reported.
Officers with the Mitchell Police Department responded to a call at a home on West 12th Street regarding a domestic incident. The first responding officer saw an adult male — later identified as Hacecky — “punching a black lab in the head several times with a closed fist,” The Daily Republic reported, citing the probable cause affidavit.
Once the officer witnessed the attack, he immediately placed Hacecky in handcuffs to prevent further violence to the animal, according to the police report.
Upon further examination, the officer discovered the dog’s mouth had been “tightly shut” and bound with duct tape, and its front and back legs were also cinched with tape, KELO-TV reported.
“The dog was struggling to breathe and its chest was making very rapid, large rise and falls of attempting to breathe,” the officer wrote.
Police removed the duct tape from the dog’s mouth and legs and noticed the canine was bleeding from its nose.
Hacecky reportedly told police the dog “Buddy” belonged to his girlfriend. He said the lab urinated and defecated in the house before biting him on the hand as he brought it outside.
Once outside he used duct tape to secure the dog and then proceeded to pummel the animal. He continued the vicious beating until police arrived.
Police noted that despite Hacecky’s claim about being bit, the dog showed no signs of aggression as it rapidly deteriorated from the torture
Sadly, Buddy was taken to a local veterinarian where he succumbed to his injuries, Law&Crime reported.
Hacecky was booked at the Davidson County Jail and subsequently released after posting $4,000 bond.
He appeared in court August 15 and pleaded not guilty to the aforementioned charges. The criminal defendant is due to return to court for a status hearing Nov. 21.
If convicted, Hacecky faces a maximum sentence of two years in prison on the animal cruelty charge and a fine of up to $4,000. The narcotics offense carries a maximum 5-year sentence and a fine up to $10,000.