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Tallahassee man charged with aggravated animal cruelty after beating dog with belt

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Posted at 4:24 PM, Oct 22, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-22 16:24:00-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) - A Tallahassee man is facing felony animal cruelty charges after he beat a dog over the head with a belt, causing severe injuries.

Ryan Bruna was arrested on Sunday after the Tallahassee Police Department responded to the Commons apartments around 1:28 p.m. about a dog being beaten.

When officers arrived, documents say they came across a brown Pitbull mix dog named "Ace" who was tied to a front porch banister. Responding officers noted that the dog was friendly, but had multiple red cuts on its head that appeared fresh and new.

According to court documents, investigators then spoke to three people, the owner of the dog, Bruna and one other person. As Bruna approached where the officers and the other people were standing, documents not the dog began to retreat, shake and whimper nervously.

During an interview with officers, Bruna admitted to hitting the dog with a belt before officers arrived.

He said that the dog started misbehaving when he took it for a walk that morning, so he tied it to the outside porch railing and "tapped" the dog "a couple of times" with a frayed belt. Documents say Bruna told officers he thought this behavior was acceptable.

However, witnesses said that they heard the "whippings" Bruna inflicted on the dog and confirmed that the red cuts were not on the dog before Bruna took it out for a walk. 

Documents say that when an exam was performed on the dog, an animal control officer determined that the injuries on the dog "were severe enough to meet statutory requirements for aggravated animal cruelty."

Based on the evidence, Bruna was taken into custody. As he was being tranpsorted to jail, documents say Bruna made several statements, saying that the dog was his and therefore thought he could do whatever he liked.

When officers told him this wasn't the case, Bruna stated, "Why? Are you telling me it's a crime to hit a child with a belt? I just gave him a couple little taps."

Bruna was jailed for aggravated animal cruelty on a $1,000 bond. He has since gotten out of jail.