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HORRIFIC: Man charged with killing dog by hitting it in the head with a hammer

Published: Feb. 19, 2021 at 6:12 PM EST
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - Digging deeper, we’re learning more about a South Bend man arrested on Thursday after allegedly hitting his dog in the head with a hammer.

We’re also learning the exact charges the man is facing.

Neighbors say they’re still in shock over the allegations directed at John Hill, and say he has been a problem in the neighborhood before, but nothing quite like this.

“Takes a hammer to a dog’s head, that’s serious,” Craig Huffine says. He is neighbors with the man charged with killing the dog.

Neighbors around the 200 block of Altgeld Street in South Bend are still coming to terms with the grizzly death of a dog at a home where 67-year-old John Hill was living.

“Oh it upset me, I love animals especially dogs. Justin next door is the one that said something to me about it when I walked out the door. He said he saw him do it,” Huffine says.

What neighbors saw, is truly horrifying. Police say on February 18th Hill allegedly struck his dog in the face with a hammer, then burying the poor pup in the snow. Police tried to rescue the dog when they arrived, rushing the wounded animal to medical care, but it had to be euthanized due to the severity of the injuries.

“He was kind of a weird person, that’s all I can say,” Huffine adds. He’s had problems with Hill before saying he unpredictable and threatening.

“Kind-of erratic like, yell and scream and get upset real easy. He came down and threatened me about my truck,” Huffine says.

Police continued their investigation at the home on Friday and the prosecutor’s office has completed their review. Hill will be charged with “Torturing or Mutilating a Vertebrate Animal, a Level 6 Felony”. That could carry 6 months or up to two and a half years in prison.

A horrific act that for now is merely an allegation; John Hill will have his day in court.

“I don’t know what they’re giving him as charges. I would imagine they’ll give him something but most of the time it’s not enough,” Huffine says.

The prosecutor’s office is recommending no bond for Hill saying he may have a criminal record outside of Indiana and produced an Arizona I-D when he was arrested; he could be a flight risk. He’s due in court on February 22nd at 1pm for arraignment. He remains in the St. Joseph County Jail.

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