NEW BERN, CRAVEN COUNTY - A New Bern man faced a judge Monday, for allegedly throwing a dog off a bridge. When NewsChannel 12 asked about the allegations, the suspect responded, "Because it got in the way."
Samuel Drew, 36, is charged with animal cruelty. He could face up to 10 years in prison if convicted.
According to New Bern Police Officer Doug Evans, a witness saw Drew throw a hound mix off the Alfred A. Cunningham drawbridge in downtown New Bern just before noon Saturday.
"He admitted to us that he had, in fact, thrown the dog over the bridge into the river," Officer Evans told NewsChannel 12.
Drew told police he was annoyed that the hound, along with a pit bull mix, were following him, Officer Evans said. A witness called police before Drew could toss the second dog.
"[Drew] told us he couldn't get a hold of [the pit bull] because he was going to put him over the bridge too," Officer Evans said.
Patsy and Jesse Tripp were in their boat when they spotted the dog that was thrown into the water.
"I hurried and put on a life vest and jumped over to try to assist the dog," Patsy said.
Patsy then swam with the struggling hound and guided it to shore behind the New Bern Convention Center, where someone used a boat rope to pull the dog out. The hound, along with the pit bull, were taken to Animal Control.
The hound is being placed in quarantine for ten days because it bit someone during the incident, authorities said.
Chris Joyce said he was out walking his dog when the incident happened, and saw officers surrounding the bridge.
"Throwing dogs off a bridge, abusing dogs or any animal for that matter, is just unthinkable," said Joyce.
Lisa French said she's just glad both dogs are okay.
"I think that's just crazy. I mean, the guy must not have a conscience whatsoever," French said.
Drew was being held on a $5,000 secure bond.