A 65-year-old man faces an animal torture charge after witnesses told police he beat a Shih Tzu puppy with a piece of wood.
The witnesses told police they were remodeling a home on Steeple Chase Lane on May 20th, when they say they heard a dog yelping from a yard across the street.
"I thought it might have been getting attacked by a bigger dog or hanging over a deck being choked on its own," said Corey Word.
Word says he saw a man hitting the dog with a slat of wood. Word says he yelled for the man to stop and called for his crew to contact police.
A St. Clair County deputy arrived to investigate. The deputy said the dog appeared to have a swollen mid-section. The deputy found piece of wood with hair on it and arrested the dog's owner, 65-year-old Mustafa Bokhari.
The dog was taken into custody and is being held by animal control.
When reached at home, Bokhari told News 4 that he was grooming the dog, not beating it.
The St. Clair County State's Attorney charged the man with Animal Torture, a felony.