New Smyrna Beach (WTFF) – An Edgewater man was arrested Sunday night on a felony charge of animal cruelty after a video camera captured him driving his vehicle at a dog and running him over.
29-year-old Robert Joseph Kayat was arrested after video evidence and witness statements connected him to the incident, according to a press release written by the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office.
The video was posted and widely shared on social media.
The dog’s owner told deputies she learned around 7 p.m. Thursday that her dog, Thomas, had been found dead on the side of the road, around the 4000 block of Treadway Road west of New Smyrna Beach.
The next morning, she reviewed a neighbor’s security camera footage and saw a white pickup truck run over Thomas.
The video showed the truck swerve sharply at the dog before running over him.
Kayat got out of his pickup truck, walked over to the dog, nudged him with his boot and then kicked the dog he just ran over.
He then got in his truck and drove away.
A witness who drove up on the incident identified the driver as Kayat, who later contacted the Sheriff’s Office to meet with a deputy and provide his account of the incident.
Kayat claimed he intentionally swerved at the dog to spook it, not to run it over.
He was arrested on the third-degree felony charge of animal cruelty and later taken to the Volusia County Branch Jail, where he was later released on a $2,500 bond.