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Georgia man says deputy forced him to decapitate dog, files lawsuit

Posted at 11:34 AM, Jan 31, 2018

CRAWFORD COUNTY, Georgia — A couple has filed a lawsuit for damages sustained after they said one of them was forced by a deputy to take off the head of their dog with a knife.

Joe Goodwin and his girlfriend, Tosha Deacon, of Georgia, are suing Crawford County, the sheriff and two deputies for $75,000, according to WPXI television station. The Dec. 1, 2017 incident started while Goodwin was at work and the 2-year-old dog lunged at Deputy Wesley Andrew Neesmith, who was responding to a complaint by a neighbor who reported being bitten by a dog.

According to a previous report by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Neesmith shot and killed the dog. The lawsuit says that after the shooting, Deputy James Hollis arrived at the scene and told Goodwin he would have to cut the dead dog's head off and take it to the health department for rabies testing. The lawsuit says Goodwin was told if he did not comply, he could go to jail.

Goodwin said he felt compelled to comply and decapitated the pet, named Big Boy, in front of his family.

The lawsuit says the plaintiffs have faced emotional distress over the situation, and that Goodwin has had to seek counseling and has lost his job as a result.

Hollis is on paid leave during an internal investigation, WPXI reports.