A homeless man is in Gaston County Jail after police say he slammed a puppy onto a sidewalk in downtown Gastonia, killing it.
Christopher Burdell Leach, 48, is being charged with felony cruelty to animals, intoxicated and disruptive behavior and injury to personal property.
The animal cruelty charge is a result of Leach putting the puppy in a black cloth bag, raising the bag over his head and slamming the bag with the puppy in it onto the sidewalk repeatedly until it was dead, Gastonia Police Public Information Officer Donna Lahser confirmed.
Leach did this in front of DeFay’s Barber Shop on East Main Avenue. DeFay Lomick, the owner of the shop, said he saw what happened Thursday.
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“He picked it up, and he slammed it right along that area. I said, ‘Hey, there’s a dog in there!’ ” Lomick said.
He immediately called 911. When he tried stopping Leach from killing the puppy, Leach threw a stick through a window at Lomick’s shop. The window is still shattered.
Leach constantly wandered along East Main Avenue, around Lomick’s barber shop. In fact, Lomick has paid Leach in the past to sweep up his shop.
This isn’t Leach’s first run-in with the law. Since 2014, he has been charged with assault, assault with a deadly weapon, trespassing, indecent exposure, among other charges. His criminal record dates to 1991, and includes several more assault charges.
Leach is being held in Gaston County Jail on a $25,000 bond.