A man has been arrested on suspicion of punching and kicking a service dog in the parking lot of a downtown Durango hotel.
The incident occurred about 1:10 p.m. Saturday at the DoubleTree Hotel parking lot, according to an arrest affidavit.
Kainan Sandoval, 39, was arrested on suspicion of aggravated cruelty to animals, a felony, and third-degree assault, a misdemeanor.
A woman told police that Sandoval hit her service dog and her 29-year-old son before fleeing on foot to Albertsons.
When police arrived, they learned the woman and her son were loading a vehicle in the parking lot when Sandoval approached and, seemingly without reason, attacked the dog and the woman’s son, according to the affidavit.
Durango Police Department Cmdr. Ray Shupe said the man was panhandling in the area and approached the Durango family for money. The dog began barking at the man, and that is when Sandoval attacked the dog.
The woman said her dog, George, was tied to the car while she and her son were loading the vehicle. A shirtless man approached and began “cussing” at her and her son, she told police.
He then kicked the dog once and punched the dog twice with a closed fist on the side of the snout, she said. The man then swung his fists multiple times at the woman’s son, hitting him once on the side of the face. That is when the woman used her bear spray to ward off the attacker, she told police.
The dog had red and inflamed gums on its left snout, and the man had “red, blotchy marks” on the side of his face, and bloodshot eyes, possibly from the bear spray, according to the affidavit.
Police went to the Albertsons bathroom and made contact with a man matching the description of the suspect.
Sandoval initially denied hitting the dog but later said he “swiped” at the dog after it came at him, according to police.
Based on injuries police observed to the dog and the woman’s son, police arrested Sandoval.