Close to midnight on Wednesday, Boulder police began receiving calls from people who heard a puppy in such apparent agony that one of them reportedly thought she had hit it with her car.
Nope. Instead, cops believe Edward McMorris hit the dog, named Tater, with his foot -- over and over again.
At about 11:48 p.m., according to a police report obtained by the Boulder Daily Camera, officers were dispatched to an area near the intersection of Broadway and Canyon Boulevard, where they saw McMorris, described as a 26-year-old transient, dragging Tater by a leash.
When cops asked him to give them the dog, he allegedly refused and then reached for what's described as a "large metal object" hanging from his belt -- an action deemed sufficiently provocative that one of the officers tackled him.
The Boulder Police blotter notes that the puppy could barely move, and no wonder. Witnesses said McMorris kicked Tater between five and ten times, as well as stomping on his head on several occasions.
A short time later, Tater was transported to the Boulder Emergency Pet Clinic, and this morning, a staffer at the facility offers some good news. He says Tater's injuries weren't life threatening and he's already on the path to recovery. The dog is currently being cared for by the Humane Society of Boulder Valley.
Is McMorris's current housing situation similar? After his arrest for cruelty to animals and obstructing a peace officer, he was transported to Boulder County Jail -- and given the Camera's note about several past arrests in New Hampshire for failing to appear in court, he may be there for a while.
Can't imagine that'll bother Tater too much.
More from our Colorado Crimes archive: "Joan Zalk pleads guilty to animal cruelty for running chihuahua from moving car."
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