Michael G. Brown also charged with disorderly conduct
STAR JOURNAL REPORT
A 45-year-old Rhinelander man accused of punching his dog in the head has been charged in Oneida County Circuit Court with misdemeanor counts of mistreating an animal and disorderly conduct.
Michael G. Brown made his initial appearance on the charges Monday when his signature bond was set at $2,000 with the provisions he not consume intoxicants, stay out of taverns and have no further mistreatment of the animals in his house. He must also allow the Humane Society access to check on those animals. Brown is scheduled back in court Aug. 22 for the continuation of his initial appearance.
The animal mistreatment charge is a Class A misdemeanor that carries a maximum possible penalty upon conviction of nine months in jail and/or a $10,000 fine. The disorderly conduct charge is a Class B misdemeanor with a possible maximum penalty of 90 days in jail and/or a $1,000 fine.
According to a Rhinelander Police Department report, a neighbor to Brown’s residence on Vaughn Street reported early in the evening of July 20 seeing Brown walking toward his residence after his dog, which was described as a small Weiner dog, and pinned the dog down on the ground by the throat with his left hand.
The neighbor also reported observing Brown’s wife screaming “stop, stop, stop” while she stood in the driveway and Brown struck the dog on the head with a closed fist at least five times.
The neighbor, who described the punches as “forceful,” stated the dog was crying/whimpering and Brown’s wife was also crying. The police report further states the neighbor had yelled at Brown several times to stop and Brown’s wife grabbed the dog and went into the residence after he stop hitting the dog.
After the neighbor informed Brown about the neighbor planning to call the police, the neighbor stated Brown got “up into my face” and started shouting at the neighbor while they were in the roadway.
The police report states an officer responding to the scene that evening could hear “excessively loud music” coming from Brown’s residence, where Brown was sitting in a lawn chair and making what appeared to be obscene gestures with both hands at neighbors. The officer instructed Brown, who reportedly “appeared highly intoxicated,” to turn down the volume of the radio.
When the officer asked Brown what happened with his dog, Brown allegedly demonstrated by leaning forward and making several striking motions with his right hand, similar to the motions described by the neighbor, but denied striking the dog when asked if he did so.