PEORIA — A 39-year-old Peoria man might face up to five years in prison after being indicted Tuesday by a Peoria County grand jury for allegedly torturing a dog for destroying a $75 plant.
Nicholas Prince, who lives in the 1700 block of North Kingsway Drive, faces charges of animal torture and animal cruelty. The latter is a misdemeanor while the first charge is a felony.
Prince was initially arrested last week on the misdemeanor count after a video, taken July 5, surfaced that allegedly showed him throwing a dog against a wall. He was released on $160 bond, but his bond was later raised to $25,000 and a warrant was issued for his arrest.
According to a report from the Peoria County Sheriff's Office, a video was posted onto Facebook that allegedly shows Prince "grab what appears to be a German Shepherd by the collar, jerk the dog from inside its kennel by the neck, then slam it violently against a wall. Prince then punches and kicks the dog as it tries to run away. The dog runs back into its kennel and Prince gets inside the kennel on top of the dog. Prince then holds the dog down as he violently punches the dog in the head 10-12 times. Then at the end of the video, Prince appears to be choking the dog before the video cuts out."
Keep up on crime/public safety news:Download the Journal Star's mobile app
When a deputy visited the Dunlap home where the alleged abuse took place, the dog was friendly and showed no signs of injury, according to the report. The person who was at the house told the deputy that the dog had destroyed a plant and she put the dog into its kennel.
Later, the report said, she heard the dog yelping and allegedly saw Prince near the kennel. He allegedly told her that he was "punishing the dog." The woman told the deputy Prince had said the dog bit him, but the deputy was later contacted by Prince, who said the dog had bitten a neighborhood child.
"He stated he just started 'seeing red' and went overboard," the deputy wrote in his report.
Later, after Prince turned himself in to deputies, he reiterated the dog bit a neighbor's child and chewed up a bunch of plants, the report said. He said he "lost it and there's nothing that could explain his actions. (Prince) said he felt horrible and after it happened, he had gone to the bedroom, knowing he overreacted."
State's Attorney Jodi Hoos said that her office opted for the animal torture charge as it shows multiple acts and "prolonged pain." Aggravated animal cruelty, a lower level of felony, wasn't possible here as that charge requires some type of injury to the animal which the deputy didn't see.
This article originally appeared on Journal Star: Peoria man accused of felony animal torture could face years in prison