Man arrested after dragging dog behind truck in Hernando County, deputies say

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The suspect believed to be in the center of a dog-dragging case in Hernando County has been arrested, deputies said.

On Wednesday night, Hernando County deputies arrested 58-year-old Gregory Tousignant. They said he is the man who dragged a 1-year-old pit bull behind his moving truck in Spring Hill last week, but they said it doesn't appear to be intentional. The dog, who has since been named “Ollie,” was initially standing in the bed of the truck before jumping.

Deputies said Ollie was dragged by a rope on his neck. The dog managed to slip out of his collar and a witness, Jan Harwood, rushed to the animal’s side. Tousignant continued driving, investigators said.

“It was absolutely horrible. There are no words to describe it, really,” Harwood told FOX 13.

Harwood happens to own a veterinary clinic and brought the dog there for treatment. He had severe road rash and bloody paws, but several days later, Ollie is doing much better, Harwood said. He didn’t suffer broken bones or any internal injuries.

Investigators said animal cruelty charges still stick since the dog was unsecured and tied to the bumper of the truck -- and that is considered as negligence.

“[Witnesses] saw the dog jump out of the truck as he was traveling down the road, and they actually tried to stop him. [Tousignant] didn’t hear him,” explained Michael Terry, a spokesman for the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office. 

Deputies identified Tousignant as a suspect on Wednesday afternoon. A judge issued a warrant for Tousignant’s arrest on an animal cruelty charge.

By 10 p.m., Tousignant was located and booked in Hernando County Jail.