Missoula man arrested on suspicion of attempted animal cruelty

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A Missoula man faces an attempted animal cruelty charge after being arrested on suspicion of trying to harm a dog on Friday.

Coty D. Neagle, 44, is charged with one count of assault on a minor and one count of attempted aggravated animal cruelty, both felonies.

On Friday, Missoula police responded to a residence on Great Northern Avenue. They received reports alleging Neagle made comments about wanting to kill his family dog, according to charging documents filed in Missoula County.

Officers were notified that Neagle stated “if the cops are called my family is going to be harmed.” Law enforcement entered the house and arrested Neagle.

Neagle agreed to speak with the police. He denied any violence between him or the witnesses.

Police noted blood on Neagle’s clothing, which he said was from cutting his finger in the kitchen, but did not explain the blood on his ear.

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A first witness said Neagle yelled at her, and that she was afraid he was going to physically assault her. She also said he got mad at the dog, and he was kicking and punching it, according to charging documents.

The argument escalated and a second witness said she found Neagle with a large knife attempting to stab the dog.

The first witness thought Neagle was trying to kill the pet, but was unable to catch it. While the chase ensued, the dog bit Neagle, causing him to bleed, court documents allege. The dog was able to escape from the room.

The second witness also reported that Neagle physically harmed the dog. When she tried to intervene and stop him, Neagle refused.

Missoula Justice of the Peace Alex Beal set bond at $50,000. Neagle’s arraignment date is Oct. 17 in Missoula County District Court.

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