Man arrested by Lee County deputies for aggravated animal cruelty

Reporter: Jolena Esperto
Published: Updated:

Warning: this story contains elements that may be disturbing for some viewers.

A noise complaint has led to an animal cruelty arrest.

During a press conference Wednesday, Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno announced the arrest of James Lyster, who now faces aggravated animal cruelty charges.

According to LCSO, deputies responded to a noise complaint at Park Crest Apartments in Fort Myers. The person who called 911 said they heard banging, yelling and a dog squealing.

When deputies got there, they noticed splattered blood leading up to an apartment where a dog was found bleeding. The apartment belongs to Lyster. Deputies asked him who lives in the apartment and how the dog was injured.

Lyster replied he got mad.

Marceno told reporters that deputies also saw blood on multiple walls because Lyster kicked his 8-year-old Pomeranian, Benji, into the walls. That left Benji with a broken jaw, internal bleeding in the abdomen and multiple teeth mutilated that now need to be surgically removed.

“That picture says it all,” Marceno said at the press conference pointing at an image of Benji with blood near his jaw. “That’s not a human being that does that to a poor defenseless little animal. I can promise you this is going to stop. We will never stop working to protect those who cannot protect themselves. That’s not a human being that does that. That’s a cold-hearted person that had no regard for life.”

Marceno said Benji will be OK but has a lifelong road to recovery.

Benji is now in the care of Lee Domestic Animal Services.

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