DELTONA, Fla. - A Deltona man is behind bars after deputies say he beat his dog with a chain and fought bystanders who tried to stop him, and it was all caught on camera.
Raymon Prush was at Circle K on Elkcam Boulevard and Lake Helen Osteen Road on Thursday afternoon when he says he witnessed the man hitting the dog in the face.
"I don't understand why somebody could do that. It's just heartbreaking," he said.
He decided to step in and stop the man, identified by the Volusia Sheriff's Office as 31-year-old Jose Rivera, from hurting the dog any further.
Video taken by witnesses shows Prush confronting Rivera as he continues to whip the dog with the chain.
"I could never see myself ever doing that to my best friend, who's there to protect me and my family," Prush said.
That's when he says, and the video proves, other bystanders are trying to shield the dog from Rivera. But the mayhem didn't stop there.
- Stolen patrol car: Body camera video shows woman jump in deputy's car before chase, deadly crash
- Clearwater Florida plane crash: Pilot, 2 others killed after plane hits mobile home park, explodes
- Florida man slashes family's car tire during Winter Garden road rage incident, police say
- Orlando road closures ahead of 2024 Olympic Team Trials Marathon this weekend
"I wasn't going to let anybody get hurt, so I put myself in between. He hit me in the face on this side, I guess, to try to knock me down. That's when I yoked him up to get him to stop being violent," Prush said.
According to VSO, a total of nine bystanders tried to get Rivera under control before deputies arrived. At least four of them, including Prush, were hurt.
Court records show Rivera has a history of violence, including several convictions for battery and domestic violence.
Prush is still trying to comprehend how someone could hurt their own pet.
"We treat them as children. They live with us. They eat with us. They sleep with us. They're amazing things, and nobody deserves, nor any animal deserves, to get hit like that in the face, especially with a metal chain," he said. "I just don't understand how somebody could do that to something that's so special."
Rivera is facing multiple charges. A judge set Rivera's bond at $51,000.
As for the dog's condition, deputies say it suffered cuts and other injuries and is now in the care of someone else.