A man suspected of breeding dogs used in illegal dog fights was brutally attacked by at least two masked men Thursday, according to police and a local television station.
Three men — ages 51, 59 and 82 — were inside a home around 11:05 a.m. when two armed men wearing ninja masks entered and tied them up, according to a Detroit Police Department report.
The 51-year-old man, who police suspect was breeding dogs to be used in dog fighting rings, was then beaten, tortured and mutilated, according to WJBK in Detroit. The attackers then demanded money.
“They tied him up; they beat him up pretty bad. Broke ribs, broke fingers, stabbed him with ice picks, cut an ear off. It’s just messed up,” the victim’s cousin, Marty Johnson, told the station.
The masked men took cellphones, identification cards, money and a 1996 Plymouth Voyager minivan, according to police. They also left with the man’s severed ear, the station reported.
The victim was taken to a hospital in critical condition, police said.
Law enforcement sources told WJBK that they think the man was targeted because of his breeding operation.
At least 16 emaciated pit bulls were in the backyard of the property living in squalid conditions, according to WJBK. Television news footage showed several dogs tied to metal chains in the muddy and wet backyard.
Animal control officers removed the pit bulls, as well as at least a dozen other dogs from the basement, the station reported.
Johnson denied his cousin was involved in any kind of dog fighting.
“It’s not a dog-fighting ring, he loves his dogs,” he told WJBK.
The station reported that three men were involved in the beating, but the police report indicated they were looking for two people in connection with the incident.