Man accused of kicking mother’s Chihuahua off motel balcony, charged with animal cruelty

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ALCOA, Tenn. (WATE) – A Maryville man has been charged with aggravated cruelty to animals after video surveillance revealed he apparently kicked a Chihuahua dog off a second-floor balcony at a motel.

Arresting documents state Zachary Matheson, 32, had been angry with his mother for not driving him to the liquor store and initially told his mother that her dog, a 9-year-old Chihuahua, had jumped off the balcony.

On Sunday, Nov. 17, Alcoa Police Department officers responded to a call at the Alcoa Inn on a report of a lost dog. Officers made contact with a woman, who said her son told her that her dog had jumped from the second-floor balcony – but she didn’t believe him.

She said she didn’t believe her son’s story because she knew he was mad at her for not taking him to the liquor store.

Officers watched the video surveillance footage provided by Alcoa Inn personnel. Video recordings revealed Matheson entering the room, then after “a lot of movement,” the dog is seen flying through the air from inside the room, hitting the poles of the balcony before continuing to the ground.

The dog landed between the cars parked on the ground level.

Matheson told officers that he “nudged” the dog.

Officers said based on video footage that was recorded via body worn cameras, “this was not a nudge and the dog was kicked.”

Officers also say Matheson “inflicted serious pain and almost death to this companion animal, intentionally.”

Matheson was arrested on aggravated cruelty to animals charges and was transported to the Blount County Justice Center.

Matheson’s next court date is scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 21 at 9 a.m.

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