Florida man accused of stripping naked, lighting dog on fire outside Daytona Beach hotel

Michael Zellars was arrested and charged with animal cruelty, indecent exposure, disorderly conduct, obstructing an officer without violence, possession of a controlled substance without a prescription and violating probation on June 12, 2024. (Photo

A Florida man is accused of stripping naked and lighting his dog on fire in the parking lot of a Daytona Beach hotel on Tuesday night. 

Michael Zellars, 65, was arrested and charged with the following after the incident that unfolded at the Wyndham Hotel and Resort on North Atlantic Avenue, according to an arrest affidavit from the Daytona Beach Police Department:

  • Felony animal cruelty
  • Obstructing an officer without violence
  • Indecent exposure
  • Possession of a controlled substance without a prescription 
  • Disorderly conduct
  • Violation probation

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Police responded to the Daytona Beach hotel just before 10:30 p.m. after reports came in of a naked man on the property. A man, later identified as Zellars, was standing in front of the hotel with his genitals exposed as guests walked in and out of the building, according to the arrest affidavit. 

Zellars, at first, allegedly ignored officers' commands to turn around and put his hands around his back, but he was eventually placed into handcuffs after a brief struggle, the affidavit said. 

Officers then spoke with a couple of hotel security officers, who said Zellars was dropped off at the property by an unknown black truck. That's when the 65-year-old man allegedly pulled his pants down, exposing his genitals. He then grabbed a lighter from his pocket and "proceeded to burn his dog on his ears, neck, and paws," the affidavit said. 

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Police said the dog suffered superficial injuries and the report was forwarded to animal control officers for a follow-up and medical care. 


During Zellars' arrest, a clear plastic bag that tested presumptive positive for fentanyl was discovered in the man's shirt, the affidavit added. 

He remains in custody in Volusia County without bond.