Alleged puppy choker pleads not guilty

Published 10:53 am Friday, August 28, 2015

The Austin man accused of trying to strangle a puppy during an argument pleaded not guilty to related charges Thursday in Mower County District Court.



Christopher Maricle, 25, was charged earlier this month with domestic assault, interfering with a 911 call and animal cruelty.

According to a court complaint, Maricle and a woman were arguing inside his home at the 400 block of 13th Avenue Northeast in Austin around 6:30 p.m. Aug. 11 when Maricle allegedly grabbed a 9-week-old pit bull, a pet, and went outside to strangle it on the lawn.

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The woman later told police Maricle choked the dog with both hands around its neck before he threw it inside at a couch.

The woman tried to leave with the dog and call 911, but Maricle allegedly threw the phone across the lawn and wrestled her to the ground for the puppy. Maricle’s mother eventually drove by and took the puppy away during the fight.

Maricle later told police he and the woman argued over the dog and both people were pulling on the puppy. He also admitted to interrupting the 911 call, according to the complaint.

Maricle was previously convicted of domestic assault in January 2014.