A Fresno man is under arrest after deputies saw him kicking and throwing a small dog, the Fresno County Sheriff's Office said Monday.
Deputies say they were parked near Blackstone and Shields early Sunday morning when they saw a man -- later identified as 39-year-old Chet Lee Leiker -- dragging a small dog on a leash with such force that the animal could not keep up.
Deputies say Leiker then yanked the dog off the ground, swung it in the air three times, and let it fall to the ground. He then picked up the dog and threw it to the ground twice, investigators said.
As deputies approached Leiker, they say he kicked the dog several times. Leiker was detained.
During the investigation, a witness came forward and said the suspect dragged the dog in the canal water nearby, yelling at it to swim.
SPCA officials were called to the scene and found the dog had been microchipped. They were able to find the dog's owners, who said the dog had been stolen from their front yard three days earlier.
Leiker was arrested and booked into the Fresno County Jail on charges of felony cruelty to an animal and possession of stolen property. He also faces drug charges after deputies say he was found with marijuana and a methamphetamine pipe.
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