Monroe man arrested, accused of animal cruelty after allegedly hitting K9 in face with bundle of beads


MONROE, La. — A Monroe man has been arrested and is facing one count of Simple Cruelty to Animals after deputies say he hit a Ouachita Parish Sheriff’s Office K-9 in the face with a bundle of Mardi Gras beads.

According to arrest reports, the OPSO deputy and K-9 were working the Krewe of Janus Mardi Gras parade. During the parade, 22-year-old Vernon Cotton, who was riding on a parade float, threw a bundle of Mardi Gras beads at the K-9 and struck her in the face. The deputy states that the bundle of beads was approximately the size of a basketball and weighed 3 lbs.

The report states that Cotton intentionally threw the beads at the K-9 and at that time, the deputy and K-9 were 10 feet away from the float with no civilians nearby.

When questioned by the deputy, Cotton stated: “That’s my bad.”

Cotton was arrested and taken to the Ouachita Correctional Center where he was booked on one count of Simple Cruelty to Animals. He has since been released.

The Twin Cities Krewe of Janus has released a statement in relation to Cotton’s arrest:

Twin Cities Krewe of Janus is deeply disturbed by the horrific actions of one of the riders in Saturday’s Mardi Gras Parade.  The Krewe is a sponsor of the PAWS Pet Parade and the majority of our members are pet owners and/or lovers and all members have a deep respect for ALL officers as they work to keep us safe.  It alarms us that this person (who is not a KOJ member and was not on a KOJ float) attempted to intentionally cause harm to a K-9 officer of the OPSO.  We are thankful for the swift resolution of this matter and appreciate the efforts of law enforcement to bring this person to justice.

Twin Cities Krewe of Janus

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