MONROE — A fatal beating of a Chihuahua triggered a chain of events that led to an incident in which five people were beaten in a home invasion over the weekend, authorities said.
Deputies are seeking five men between the ages of 16 and 25 who allegedly assaulted four teens gathered in the garage of the dog owner's home in the 3200 block of N. Dixie Highway about 2:30 a.m. Saturday, broke off the attack, and minutes later resumed it by invading the home. One of the attackers was allegedly carrying a shotgun, according to the Monroe County sheriff's office.
The victims included the dog owner, who is 15, and his friends, between 15 and 17, sheriff's Deputy Jeff Smith said. The names were not released. None of the victims required medical attention, according to the sheriff's office.
Deputy Smith said the boy's Chihuahua was found early on the morning of June 12 in front of his house, badly injured. The family originally thought it was run over by a vehicle, he said.
About 9 a.m. that day, the boy's family took the dog to Monroe Veterinary Clinic, 15161 S. Dixie Hwy., and found out the dog had been beaten -- not run over, as they initially believed, Deputy Smith said.
Then about 5:30 p.m. the same day, a fight broke out in front of the house between two groups of teens, one of which included the dog owner, Deputy Smith said. During the fight, the boy allegedly threw a brick at someone in the other party, which he believed to include the person who had beaten up his dog, the deputy said.
The dog owner was listed as a victim in an animal cruelty case filed by his father and as a suspect in the incident, in which he allegedly threw the brick and was charged with delinquency in connection with a felonious assault, Deputy Smith said.
A woman who stepped out of the house Monday morning to get her mail said it was her son who was assaulted there early Saturday. She said charges had been filed and that she believed one of the suspects had been arrested. She refused further comment.
Deputy Smith said "the suspects are still out there and they know that we are looking for them." He refused to release the names or comment on what the woman had said, citing an ongoing investigation involving minors.
Dr. Deepinder Singh, the owner of the veterinary clinic, said the dog was found to be suffering from a "blunt force trauma to the head or the backbone" and was euthanized. Animal cruelty is a felony in Michigan.