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JEFFERSONVILLE, IND. (WDRB) -- Authorities say a six-year old pit bull terrier mix was killed after being dragged to death by a truck for several blocks.
Jeffersonville police say 38-year old Paul Witten told them he had permission from the dog's owners to have the dog named Hardy and that he had tied its leash to the bed of his truck and "was unsure at what point the dog jumped out of the bed of the truck and onto the ground as he was driving."
The police report states the dog's leash was still connected to the truck and that the dog's paws were mangled and cut open. The dog also suffered several road rash injuries, the police report stated.
Det. Todd Hollis with Jeffersonville Police said Witten failed three field sobriety tests but passed a breathalyzer test on Sunday when officers stopped him near Harrison and Mitchell Avenues. Two witnesses reported seeing something horrifying, the dog being dragged for several blocks. The witnesses told police they tried to flag down Witten.
Witten was charged with operating while intoxicated and cruelty to animals. He made an initial appearance in a Clark County courtroom on Tuesday. He posted a $2500 bond and was released.
Reached by phone Tuesday evening, Witten did not want to be interviewed. But did say this: "I just wanted to let you know it's really not a news story. It was an accident – a horrible accident and I feel bad for it."
When asked about the fact police say he was intoxicated, Witten said: "I was completely sober. When I got out I was like, I felt like I just drove over my best friend."
Mike Losey, who owned the pit bull mix named Hardy, says he's completely devastated by the dog's death. Losey and his friend Renee Bartle claim they let Witten take the dog for a walk Sunday. They claim Witten left Losey's house with the dog in his truck. Hours later, Losey said Bartle got a call from police claiming the dog had died.
"And these last two days have been nothing but torture. I've not gotten a wink of sleep," said Losey during an interview with WDRB News. "Let's make sure this guy is thrown under the jail because (I think) he committed murder... it was a defenseless animal."
Losey said he's had difficulty accepting his dog's death.
"I loved that dog more than life itself," said Losey.