Man Arrested on Suspicion of Beating Puppy With Large Lock at Ventura Bus Depot

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A puppy that was rescued in Ventura after being beaten on Dec. 24, 2019, is seen in a photo provided by the Ventura Police Department.

A puppy that was rescued in Ventura after being beaten on Dec. 24, 2019, is seen in a photo provided by the Ventura Police Department.

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A man was taken into custody Tuesday after several witnesses reported seeing him beating a puppy with a large lock at a bus depot in Ventura, authorities said.

Officers responded to the depot in the 3300 block of Telegraph Road at about 12:25 p.m. after getting a call from a bus driver who saw the brutal attack, the Ventura Police Department said.

The man took the puppy and left the scene after being confronted by several people who were waiting at the station, police said.

Police found 26-year-old Ezekiel Heterwegscheider at a nearby gas station and arrested him on suspicion of felony animal cruelty.

Witnesses told officers they saw Heterwegscheider hitting the dog with a large master lock that was attached to a rope, according to Ventura police.

The mixed breed Labrador Retriever and Canaan puppy was taken into the care of Ventura County Animal Services to be evaluated for injuries, the department said. His condition was unknown Tuesday evening, but Ventura police Cmdr. Tom Higgins said the puppy didn’t appear to have any visible injuries.

The puppy was listed for adoption at the Camarillo Animal Shelter on 600 Aviation Drive in Camarillo, according to animal services.

Higgins told KTLA that Heterwegscheider, who is from out of state, had apparently adopted the dog and was using him as a tool to get money.

Anyone with information was asked to call police at 805-339-4400 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.

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