Yukon man charged with animal cruelty

Faces jail time after police review security, body cam video

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By Conrad Dudderar
Staff Writer

A Yukon man faces jail time after a neighbor showed police security video of him allegedly abusing his dog at a Ranchwood North home.

Ransom Richey Axtell, 40, was formally charged April 20 in Canadian County District Court with cruelty to animals.

Axtell was accused of the felony crime during a Yukon police investigation into a February incident on Del Mar Drive.

Canadian County prosecutors allege Axtell violated state law “by willfully and maliciously cruelly beating a dog that was in captivity and belonged to the defendant by striking the animal and then picking up the animal and forcefully throwing it in the bed of the truck.”

Allegations against Axtell are detailed in a Yukon police incident report and arrest warrant affidavit.

Yukon Police responded about 10:52 a.m. Feb. 7 to the alleged animal abuse.

The reporting party told a responding officer he had security video footage of a neighbor “punching and throwing” his dog in the back of his truck, according to the police report.

Witnesses allegedly heard the dog yelping and crying and saw the animal being punched and thrown into the truck.

A Yukon police officer reviewed the security video, showing Axtell – the dog’s owner – walking around a fence to retrieve an approximate 30-pound dog.

“While Axtell was walking the dog back to his truck, he grabbed the leash and used it to whip the dog’s rear end,” officer Justin Webb wrote in his report. “Axtell picked the dog up, to the point of it being in line or over his head (6’3) and used force to throw the dog into the bed of his truck.

“The force caused the dog to roll, legs upward towards the sky, and land on its back.”

APPEARED TO BE AFRAID

Lt. Chris Brugh and officer Webb went to the Del Mar Drive home to speak with Axtell about the incident.

When officers saw the dog in the backyard, they noticed the animal cry and yelp.

“The dog appeared to be afraid of any contact with Axtell,” according to the police report.

Axtell’s conversation with officers was “audio and visually captured” on the officer’s body camera, according to an arrest warrant affidavit signed by Det. Terry Prigmore:

“The defendant admits to the officers that he may have blacked out when he was chasing the dog and may have gone too far when he threw the dog in the bed of the truck. … On the body camera you can see the dog come to the gate when summoned by the defendant, but you can also hear the dog cry out when the defendant reached for the dog’s collar.”

When contacted to respond to the allegations, Axtell said he did not want to comment. He expressed surprise that he had been criminally charged in the case.

Ansell was booked April 22 at the Canadian County Jail, then released after posting bond.

If found guilty of animal cruelty, the defendant faces up to five years in state prison or one year in the county jail and a maximum $5,000 fine.

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