You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myStatesman.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks

X

Welcome to myStatesman.com

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on myStatesman.com.

Police accuse man of hitting dog in head with hammer, fracturing her skull


A man is in jail after being accused of using a hammer to crack the skull of a 2-year-old pit bull named Karma in December, an arrest affidavit said.

Richard James Mizell, 52, was booked into the Travis County Jail around 1 a.m. on a charge of cruelty to non-livestock animals, jail records show.

The incident happened on Dec. 3 after Mizell pulled up to a house and found Karma, who belonged to his sister, tethered in the backyard, the affidavit said.

Mizell’s sister told police she could hear him yelling that Karma did not belong there, and that he was going to kill the dog.

The sister told police she looked out of a window and saw Mizell standing at the edge of the tether’s range swinging the hammer and taunting the dog, according to the affidavit.

When Karma came up on her hind legs to reach Mizell, he smashed the bell of the hammer into her head, the affidavit said.

When police arrived, Mizell told them that Karma attacked him when he was walking to the house.

“Richard claimed he turned to run away from Karma and Karma bit him on the calf and dragged him to the ground,” the affidavit said.

Mizell also told investigators Karma jumped on his chest and was trying to grab him by the face and throat, according to the report.

Austin-Travis County EMS medics checked Mizell out, but found no trace of injuries, the affidavit said, adding that Karma was friendly and docile with all of the officers who arrived at the scene and showed no signs of aggression.

Mizell’s sister surrendered Karma to authorities because she could not afford medical care for the dog.

A veterinarian later confirmed that Karma’s skull was fractured, and that she had hemorrhaging in both of her eyes.

The affidavit said another veterinarian told police that Mizell’s story didn’t make sense because Mizell would have had significant injuries if Karma had attacked him as he said she did.

Mizell is currently being held with bail set at $15,000.

The affidavit said Mizell has been identified by Austin police as a “Top Offender” with 32 total arrests in Austin and 21 convictions for crimes including multiple assaults, drug manufacture and possession, resisting arrest and carrying prohibited weapons.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Police: 16th person arrested in Manchester bombing
Police: 16th person arrested in Manchester bombing

British police have arrested a 16th person in connection with last week’s suicide bombing in Manchester, Reuters reported Monday. >> Read more trending news The 23-year-old man was arrested in Shoreham-by-Sea, Sussex, "on suspicion of offenses contrary to the terrorism act", Greater Manchester Police reported on its Twitter...
Alaska volcano erupts again; aviation alert code raised to red
Alaska volcano erupts again; aviation alert code raised to red

An Alaska volcano that has been active for nearly six months erupted again Sunday, Bloomberg reported. >> Read more trending news The Alaska Volcano Observatory said Bogoslof Volcano in the Aleutian Islands erupted at 2:16 p.m. Sunday and sent a cloud of ash at least 35,000 feet high. The eruption lasted 55 minutes, Bloomberg reported...
UT scientists might have found key to stopping hospital infections

Hundreds of thousands of people in the United States, if not more, suffer infections each year from medical devices that have developed microbial films — sticky mats of bacteria that are hard to find and clean off. But University of Texas researchers say they have figured out why the film develops, a finding that could lead to a way to prevent...
Where to honor those who sacrificed

Memorial Day events No matter where you are in Central Texas, there will be a place nearby to remember those who died while serving the country’s armed forces. The following are among the places to go on Memorial Day. TRAVIS COUNTY East Austin: Ceremony, 10 a.m., Texas State Cemetery, 909 Navasota St. South Austin: Ceremony, 10:30 a.m., Assumption...
CodeNext draft would open up city to garage apartments

After a months-long battle between neighborhood groups and urbanists, the Austin City Council struck a compromise in November 2015. Garage apartments would be allowed in a certain type of zoning that covered about 9,000 lots citywide, but not in another type of zoning covering some 62,000 lots. The proposed changes under CodeNext could end that truce...
More Stories