California man accused of kicking dog 15 feet into air

A man is facing an animal cruelty charge after he was accused of kicking a small dog 15 feet in the air.

KCBS reported that police in Port Hueneme, California, responded to a call on 2 p.m. Friday saying a man was throwing punches at lifeguards at Hueneme Beach.

"On arrival, officers observed the subject, identified as Dylan McTaggert, throwing punches at one of the Port Hueneme Lifeguards," police said in a Monday Facebook post. "Upon seeing the police officers, suspect McTaggert fled on foot but was quickly apprehended after a short foot pursuit."

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Police said they investigated McTaggert and discovered he allegedly approached a woman and her small breed dog on the beach, and kicked the dog, which appeared to be a miniature Schnauzer, without provocation.

She was kicked approximately 15 feet into the air and went into shock and was unconscious, according to police.

"The small dog, known as Sophie, was kicked with so much force, she was diagnosed with having a collapsed lung and displaced heart," police said.

"Suspect McTaggert is an Oxnard transient residing along the illegal encampments on Ormond Beach," police said in the Facebook post. "He has been contacted numerous times by Port Hueneme Police for disturbing beach goers on Hueneme Beach. A records check revealed that he is a 290 registrant and on probation for assaulting officers and shoplifting."

Sophie is currently at home and being cared for by her owner, police said.

GoFundMe page has been set up to assist with veterinary expenses and help Sophie's owner, who is not working while her dog recovers. More than $2,900 as been raised, surpassing the fundraiser's $1,200 goal.

KTLA reported that McTaggart was jailed and booked on charges of fighting in public, assault on a lifeguard and felony animal cruelty.

Authorities are asking those who may have seen the incident to contact the Port Hueneme Police Department at 805-986-6530.

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