Police: Semi-truck driver may have saved well-being of dog - KOAM TV 7

Police: Semi-truck driver may have saved well-being of dog

David Jeffries David Jeffries
Charles Wilson Charles Wilson
Joplin, MO -

A semi-truck driver is being credited by Joplin police for possibly saving the well-being of a dog.  Police say this case is unique.

Police say this story is a perfect example of seeing wrong then doing right.

"The unusualness in this case is this person is not even from around here, so he's going above and beyond reporting something, where he's not even from here," says Corporal Chuck Niess with the Joplin Police Department.

A short time ago, David Jeffries, a truck driver from Independence, Missouri, was passing through the Missouri FF and Interstate 49 intersection.

"I noticed there were two people and a dog," says Jeffries.

One of those people was 49-year-old Charles Wilson.

"I saw him hit this dog, and then he hit it again with a slap," says Jeffries.

Jeffries says these were strong slaps, one right after the other.  The hits continued after Jeffries turned out of the intersection.  Jeffries say Wilson went from slapping and punching the dog with his fist to kicking the dog.  The dog was cowering the whole time.

"I knew if I got out of that truck and he would have said some smart aleck remark or something, that my temper would take over, because I was pretty upset," says Jeffries.

So Jeffries called police, who arrested Wilson and charged him with animal abuse.  Police say Wilson and the woman he was with are homeless.

"He's obviously going to move on down the road, I would guess.  But he still doesn't have the right to abuse his animal." says Niess.

The dog is now in the care of Joplin's Humane Society, where workers there say it doesn't appear the dog is hurt.  We weren't allowed to record the dog at the time of our visit, because Wilson's criminal case is ongoing, and he could get his dog back.

Police say there could have been a different outcome if Jeffries decided not to intervene.

Jeffries says, "I'm a dog lover myself.  I've had dogs all my life.  Watch a dog get beat up like that..."

The man arrested by police faces a misdemeanor.  It'll be up to a judge to decide a penalty, of course, but he will not face time in prison.


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