INDIANAPOLIS — Court records provide new details into a horrific case of animal abuse on Indy’s east side where police say a dog was stabbed, suffocated and killed.
One suspect in the cruel death of a dog, whose body was found stabbed inside of a garbage can just nine days after it was adopted from a local shelter, reportedly bit a police officer so hard during her arrest that she drew blood and left teeth marks.
At least two people called IMPD on Saturday, August 6 and told dispatchers four people in the 700 block of Bosart Avenue were torturing a dog that was bleeding by stringing the animal up by its neck and choking it.
One of the witnesses said he saw a tall Black male holding a knife and also claimed he saw the dog being stabbed “while still kicking.” Both callers said a trash bag was placed over the dog’s head when it stopped moving.
The 2-year-old dog, known as Deron, had been adopted from Indianapolis Animal Care Services on July 28.
When IMPD Officer Nickolas Smith arrived to the home, court documents show he saw two women cleaning the porch. One had a bucket of water. The other was sweeping.
When asked, one of the women reportedly said there were no dogs at the home and tried to point the officer to a neighbor’s house, according to a probable cause affidavit.
The officer then followed up on a caller’s tip that the dog was put into a trash can. He located a can in the alley and opened a gray bag that had another bag inside it. There was blood on the second bag.
After opening several more bags, the officer located the body of a dog with a leash around its neck.
Officer Smith then went back to the porch to prevent any more potential evidence from being destroyed, when one of the women, 20-year-old Sierra Makin, allegedly tried to slam the door to the home shut in an attempt to flee.
After Officer Smith grabbed Makin by her arm, she “struck Officer Smith in the face with her right fist” according to court documents. A man in the house, identified as 19-year-old Zech Thomsen reportedly tried to stop the officer from placing handcuffs on Makin.
Once Makin was outside, Officer Smith said she lowered her head onto his left arm and actively bit down, increasing the pressure.
Court documents say that as Officer Smith was able to get Makin to release her grip on his arm, Thomsen came and hit an officer who had come to assist in the back of the head.
Police say both Makin and Thomsen swung their arms in an attempt to avoid getting handcuffs placed on them.
After the arrests, another witness came forward who claimed to have driven by while the dog was being tortured. The witness also said a tall Black male was stabbing the dog. She told police the other man in the group, a shorter Black male, told her to “mind her own business.”
Officer Smith had his bite wound cleaned by medical services and also received preventative antibiotics.
According to documents, the wound was beginning to get red and swollen and Makin bit hard enough to draw blood and leave behind teeth marks.
The prosecutor’s office on Thursday announced official charges. Thomsen is facing charges of torturing or mutilating a vertebrate animal, battery against a public safety official, obstruction of justice and resisting law enforcement. Makin was charged with battery resulting in bodily injury to a public safety official, obstruction of justice and resisting law enforcement.
Greater than standard bond was also requested by the prosecutor.
“It’s just heart breaking. I have no idea what would drive someone to hurt an animal like that,” said Elaine Thiel.
In response to the allegations Elaine, who volunteers with IACS, organized an online petition. The goal is to create mandatory background checks and prevent people with a violent criminal history from adopting animals.
She hopes to bring that petition to the city-county council for discussion.
“The city of Indianapolis needs to have some checks and balances for adopters of dogs when it comes to violent offenses,” said Thiel.
IACS responded to the incident with a written statement:
“We are heartbroken over this situation and we are supporting IMPD with their investigation. Our staff and volunteers are truly invested in the care and well-being of all of our animals. It is always our goal that when animals are adopted they go to loving forever homes. Prior to any animal leaving our building staff checks each adopter or foster to see if they have a history of animal-related violations, the party (or parties) involved in this situation did not have a history with ACS.”
“What happened to Deron is not IACS’s fault. It’s the city’s fault. We have failed dogs like him over and over again due to overcrowding and lack of funding,” said Thiel.
While Thomsen had no animal-related charges on his criminal record, he was at one point charged with criminal confinement, battery, strangulation and resisting law enforcement.
IACS described Deron as an “energetic, affectionate guy” who gave “the best kisses.”
It’s unknown if the other two people reportedly involved will face charges.