PHOENIX (KSAZ) - Police say a man bludgeoned a dog to death with a sledgehammer while several people begged him to spare the animal's life. It's a horrific case of animal abuse that left a family without their beloved pet.
Investigators say the 3-year-old pit bull named Beau was struck by at least one vehicle on April 16 near 37th and Oak Streets.
Jessica Hedley was driving in the area when she saw the dog get hit by the car. Not knowing who the dog's owner was, she immediately got out of her vehicle and was getting ready to take the animal to a veterinarian.
Authorities say when several people, including children, gathered around the injured dog, 49-year-old Ivan Erick Lawrence grabbed a sledgehammer from his nearby home and hit the dog twice in the head, killing it.
Hedley claims after Lawrence hit the dog, he left the area and two children saw everything.
Beau's owner, Kym Jesus Garcia, arrived at home shortly after the incident with her family. Hedley had to explain the tragic events that had taken place. She says the family is still dealing with the trauma from their loss.
Animal cruelty detectives responded to the scene and Lawrence was arrested and booked into jail. He faces one count of animal abuse and failing to render aid.