In the Bay Area, a trip to the dog park with your pet is usually a ‘walk in the park.’ However, for one Sonoma County woman, a walk in Sonoma Valley Regional Park with her pet became a harrowing experience. This unnamed woman and her dog encountered 53-year-old man from Kenwood (name withheld for privacy), walking his Australian Shepherd on the same trail.
As dogs often do, the two dogs got into a spat. Instead of controlling his dog and taking appropriate charge of the situation, he wrapped his own dog’s leash around the other dog’s neck, choking it. The woman threatened to call the police on him with pictures from her camera phone, to which threat he responded by assaulting the woman. He knocked her glasses off her face, took her cell phone and threw in into the lake, then kicked her dog before running away.
Even though the woman’s injuries were minor with only a small scrape on one of her hands, Mott turned himself in to local law enforcement officials after being charged with battery (CA Penal Code 242), animal cruelty (CA Penal Code 597), and robbery (CA Penal Code 211), all of which carry stiff penalties and fines. Obviously the animal cruelty charges are from choking and kicking the dog, and the battery from knocking the woman’s glasses off and causing the scrape on her hand. The robbery charge stems from taking the cell phone from the woman’s person, by force or fear, and throwing it into the lake, intending to deprive her of its use.