Mitchell man charged with animal cruelty after allegedly duct-taping, punching black Lab that later died

Aug. 8—MITCHELL — A Mitchell man who allegedly duct-taped a dog's legs and mouth and proceeded to punch it multiple times, causing the dog's death, is facing animal cruelty and drug possession charges.

Aaron Hacecky, 25, of Mitchell, is facing one count of animal cruelty, a Class 6 felony that carries a maximum sentence of two years in prison and a $4,000 fine; possession of a controlled substance (marijuana wax), a Class 5 felony that carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine; and use or possession of drug paraphernalia, a misdemeanor offense.

According to an arrest affidavit, officers responded to a complaint that alleged Hacecky was beating his girlfriend's dog on July 30 at his Mitchell residence. Upon arriving at the scene, a police officer observed Hacecky "punching a black lab in the head several times" with a closed fist, the affidavit alleges.

After handcuffing Hacecky to stop him from beating the dog, the officer observed duct tape fastened around the dog's legs and mouth, according to the police report.

When officers managed to remove the tape from the dog's legs and mouth, they noticed the dog was "struggling to breathe" and "would not drink water," the affidavit explained.

The dog was transported to a local veterinary clinic for emergency care, the police report says, but died shortly after.

According to the affidavit, Hacecky told officers the dog tried to run away from the home earlier that morning and bit him as he attempted to take the dog outside.

Officers weren't able to identify any "visible puncture wounds" and observed "no readily bleeding cuts or scrapes" on Hacecky, the report said. The dog showed no signs of aggression toward the officers who responded to the complaint.

Following the incident, officers conducted a welfare check on Hacecky's residence to check on another dog in the home. During the welfare check, officers discovered "several items of marijuana and drug related paraphernalia," including marijuana wax, which is listed as a controlled substance. The wax resulted in an additional felony charge.

Hacecky is in custody at the Davison County jail on a $4,000 cash bond, according to the Sheriff's Office. He's scheduled to appear in court for an arraignment hearing on Aug. 15.