Man arrested after intentionally running over dog, kicking it, deputies say
NEW SMYRNA BEACH, Fla. (FOX 35 ORLANDO) - A man was arrested Sunday night on a felony charge of animal cruelty after a video captured him driving his vehicle at a dog and running it over, the Volusia County Sheriff's Office reported.
They said that 29-year-old Robert Joseph Kayat was arrested after video evidence and witness statements connect him to the video that was posted and widely shared on social media.
The dog's owner reportedly told deputies that she learned that her dog, Thomas, had been found dead on the side of a New Smyrna Beach road around 7 p.m. on Thursday. The next morning, while reviewing a neighbor's security camera footage, she saw a white pick-up run over Thomas.
The Sheriff's Office said that the video showed the truck swerve sharply at the dog before running him over. The driver then got out, walked over the dog, nudged him with his boot, and then kicked him before getting in his truck and driving away.
A witness who drove up on the incident later identified the pick-up driver as Kayat, deputies said.
Kayat reportedly claims that he intentionally swerved at the dog to spook it, not run it over. He expressed remorse but was still arrested on a third-degree felony charge. He was taken to the Volusia County Branch Jail, where his bond was set at $2,500.
This story was written in Orlando, Florida.