By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter
CHEHALIS – The 29-year-old man accused of throwing a small dog against a table in anger told a deputy he and “Spike” don’t have good rapport.
Richard J. Eng reportedly said when he was leaving the Chehalis area home to get away from an argument with his wife, the Chihuahua mix got aggressive and he wanted to avoid getting bit.
“Therefore he picked up Spike and threw him across the house and fled the scene in his vehicle,” Lewis County Deputy Prosecutor Melissa Bohm wrote in charging documents.
The incident occurred just before 8 p.m. on Tuesday at the residence on the 500 block of Highway 603 southwest of Chehalis.
The responding deputy described the 8-inch tall dog, wrapped in a blanket and being held by its owner, as whimpering with a swollen and bleeding eye.
Lewis County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Stacy Brown said this morning the pet is expected to make a full recovery.
The two and a half year old pup was examined and treated at Fords Prairie Animal Clinic, Brown said. Spike was bruised and had trauma to his right eye, but was given medication and returned to its owner, according to Brown.
Eng was arrested that night and charged the following day in Lewis County Superior Court with first-degree animal cruelty. The offense carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Judge James Lawler allowed Eng to be released from jail on a $20,000 signature bond.
Charging documents and the sheriff’s office give the following account of what took place:
A neighbor called 911 and the arriving deputy made contact with Eng’s wife and her mother. A young boy identified as Eng’s son was in the living room crying.
Eng’s mother-in-law said she was sleeping on the couch with her dog when Eng came downstairs, took the dog from her and threw it against a kitchen table.
She said she got up and went outside and was holding her injured pet in the carport.
As Eng was getting ready to leave, he allegedly grabbed it from her arms and tossed it into an outside garbage can.
The deputy located Eng at Wal-Mart and questioned him.
He reportedly told of being woke up by his wife and having a verbal argument, and then leaving.
When asked if anything happened with a dog, Eng said yes and described a bad experience from the past.
He said several months ago he got bit, when he tried to remove a cheeseburger wrapper from the Chihuahua’s mouth while it was choking.
“Therefore he and Spike do not have good rapport,” Prosecutor Bohm wrote of Eng’s description of their relationship.
So when Eng was leaving the house, he was trying not to get bit, he said. He allegedly admitted throwing Spike a second time because it was barking and/or acting aggressive toward him.
His arraignment is scheduled for March 31 in Lewis County Superior Court.
For background, read “News brief: Angry man injures tiny dog” from Wednesday March 23, 2016, here