Tempers flared outside Toledo Municipal Court Friday morning when dozens of rally participants confronted a South Toledo man and his girlfriend accused of kidnapping and shooting a neighbor's dog.
Strong epithets and shouts of "Shame! Shame!" rose from some in the crowd of 50 that was gathered on the sidewalk as Eric Skowron, 34, of 1108 Rochelle Rd., and Alisha King, 29, of Lambertville dashed from the courthouse to a car nearby.
"You're protecting him. Where were you for the dog?," yelled one woman carrying a sign reading, "Honk if you love your pet."
The pair pleaded not guilty Friday morning in Toledo Municipal Court to animal cruelty charges. They stood before Judge Timothy Kuhlman along with their attorney, Don Cameron.
Mr. Skowron has admitted to shooting a neighbor's dog named Tyson on June 23, but claims that the dog's owners allowed it to run loose and threaten other pets in the neighborhood.
The dog survived a .45-caliber bullet wound in his left eye and another in the chest.
Their attorney, Mr. Cameron, who was also heckled by the crowd, defended Mr. Skowron's actions on the night of June 23.
"He is a pet owner and pet lover. He's had animals all his life, so I think there's more to this than what all those protesters think," Mr. Cameron told The Blade.