Joshua Scott Hamman

Stolen puppy tortured and thrown off 20-ft bridge

Niles, MI - Cass County

May 6, 2006

(Photo courtesy of Wood TV8)  In May, 2006, after hearing testimony from four witnesses, a substituting judge for Cass County District Court found probable cause linking Joshua Scott Hamman to the crimes of stealing, kicking and throwing a mixed Jack Russell terrier puppy off a 20-foot bridge.  On Friday, July 28th, Kentwood District Court Judge William Kelly ruled that Joshua Scott Hamman, 21, should stand trial for attempted animal killing and animal torturing after trying to kill a puppy by throwing if off a Howard Township bridge.  Judge Kelly also denied a request to lower Hamman’s bond from $7,500 to $5,000 stating he was appalled at the crimes that were committed against the puppy. He further stated that Hamman’s actions were a serious offense.  Hamman remains in the Cass County Jail.

      (Photos courtesy of WNDU)  Hamman is accused of taking the puppy from its owner’s backyard, kicking it and tossing it off the Thompson Road overpass in May.  During a preliminary examination of Friday, July 28th, Cory Hojara, a friend of Hamman, told Judge Kelly that he heard Hamman talk about taking the puppy from Jack Fuller’s backyard – Fuller was a mutual friend of both men.  Hojara stated he heard Hamman say that he kicked the puppy and didn’t want Fuller to find out so he threw it off the bridge.  Hojara also testified that the reason Hamman kicked the puppy was because Hamman stated the 7-pound puppy tried to bite him. Fuller, the puppy’s owner, testified that at the time of incident he had left the puppy tied up in his backyard when he and his family went out of town. When they returned that night, the puppy was missing and her collar was broken.  A Cass County Sheriff’s Deputy testified that Hojara filed a report stating Hamman was intimidating him after Hojara told Fuller what happened to his puppy.

Two boys riding bicycles on the Thompson Road overpass say the puppy lying on the dirt below. When they went to investigate, they found her still alive.

Clayview Animal Clinic Veterinarian Lorraine Bartloff testified that when she treated the puppy on May 10th, all the bones in her right front paw were broken as well as her right shoulder and both her hind legs.  She also found internal bruising in her lungs, which would be consistent with a fall.  She further stated that if the boys had not found the puppy, it would have perished from dehydration within a week. Dr. Bartloff could not determine whether the puppy’s injuries were due to being dropped, thrown or falling from the bridge.

The puppy, now named Lucky, is making a slow but steady recover, but Dr. Bartloff stated she will likely suffer from arthritis because of the injuries.

Hamman is also being held in the Cass County Jail on an unrelated charge of violating the Michigan Sex Offender Registry Act.  If convicted of the animal torturing and killing charge, he could face a 4-year felony.  He faces a 2-year felony on the attempted animal killing and torturing charge.

Reference:

South Bend Tribune

Wood TV 8

WNDU