Friday, July 17, 2009

Kearney Man Charged in Animal Abuse Case

Kearney Man Charged in Animal Abuse Case

Posted: July 14, 2009 11:37 PM

Updated: July 15, 2009 04:25 PM

A horse dragged for several hundred yards on the highway. Authorities say it happened here in central Nebraska. The driver was harged with Cruel Neglect of an Animal.

The Dawson County Sheriff's Department got the call around 11 o'clock on the night of July fourth. The crime spans three counties, as the driver made his way from Sumner to Kearney.

21-year-old Tyler Brockman was on his way home to Kearney, after a night at the rodeo in Sumner. He apparently was unaware that he didn't untie his horse and put him in the
trailer before taking off in his pickup.

David Jeffrey, an eyewitness, said, "My 16-year-old daughter and my 11-year-old son had to witness that, but it's also something that we couldn't turn a blind eye to."

Penny Jeffrey, an eyewitness, said, "Dave was driving and he inched out on the highway to get the guy's attention so he would stop and he was flashing his lights and honking his horn. The guy drove by us. He didn't notice."

The horse was dragged to death in front of their eyes.

"The horse was trying to keep up, but he was tied securely to the trailer and as we were
behind him, the horse went down and was dragging. It was dark and the horse had shoes on and sparks where flying everywhere and it was horrific. It was just horrific," said Penny.

They decided to pass him.

"I rolled down the window and was yelling and screaming my loudest at him and he just did
not pay any attention to us," added Penny.

They managed to edge in front of the truck and forced Brockman to stop.

"He got out of the truck and instead of running to the back of the trailer, he went to the hitch. And that was it. I just lost it. He was out of it. The horse was down and we figured he was
dead," said Penny.

The Jeffries then dialed 9-1-1. When Dawson County deputies got there, Brockman was gone. They contacted Buffalo County because they suspected he was intoxicated. Authorities there caught up with him and charged him with D.U.I. That same night, Dawson County deputies cited him with Cruel Neglect of an Animal.

Gary Reiber, Dawson County Sheriff, said, "The animal really has nothing to do. It's just like a
child abuse case. The child has no control over the situation whatsoever."

Two days later, authorities found the horse dead on a farm field eight miles north of Funk in Phelps County. Officials say Brockman works for the owner of the property.

The Jeffrey family is now waiting for justice.

"I just certainly hope he takes responsibility and admits he screwed up and takes steps to
make sure it never happens again," said David.

Brockman will appear in Dawson County Court on July 28th for his arraignment. If convicted on the animal cruelty charge, he could face up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Reporter's Notes by Jessica Phinney:

David Jeffrey said he went back to the scene afterward and estimates the horse was dragged 300 to 400 feet.

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