Arrests made in animal cruelty investigation

Two Volusia County women say they contacted police after witnessing a man running toward a dog with a bat.  It happened Wednesday night on Magnolia Avenue in Daytona Beach.

“I thought it was crazy! I was like, ‘We can’t leave this dog, no,’” explained Constance Milano.

She says she and friend Morgan Furber had stopped to help a dog in the road. That’s when cops say Timothy Williamson came outside with a mini baseball bat.

“He had the bat in the hand like this - and was running toward the dog,” Furber said.

“The dog ran to the woman who was outside with him and she kicked him as hard as she could right in the chest,” Milano said.

The two witnesses say they then heard slapping noises coming from the backyard. They called 911.

Daytona Beach Police responding to find Williamson and Maria Ebanks, who’s accused of kicking the dog, at a home on Magnolia.

“The adults said they were disciplining the dog, the brown dog, Bruno is his name, a chow-mix, they were disciplining him for attacking a Chihuahua-mix,” said Daytona Beach Police Sgt. Kelsey Harris.

Investigators say Bruno was covered in mange and fleas. They say the Chihuahua-mix was injured. Officers say they went inside the home and found four more dogs.

“There was no electricity, there was no water or food provided for the dogs. The dogs were very malnourished. You could see the bones under the rib cage,” Harris said.

Police say Williamson, Ebanks and Ebanks’ daughter, Gardina Bermudez, were arrested on animal cruelty charges. All of the dogs were taken out of the home.

“I feel like it was just our duty to do that. We both love animals and we care about the safety of all animals,” Furber said.

Police say the Chihuahua mix is at the animal clinic. They say four of the dogs went to the Halifax Humane Society and one went to a family member.