DeKalb Police identify man seen in video attacking dog that later diedImage provided by Atlanta News First
By Zac Summers, Atlanta News First
ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) — A disturbing animal cruelty case out of DeKalb County has animal lovers angry and demanding action.
Sonja is a rescue dog owner who lives in East Atlanta. On Monday, she saw a video on the Nextdoor app, of a man violently abusing a dog, and knew she had to do something.
“I was just appalled,” Sonja said. “I’ll never get it out of my mind.”
UPDATE: The dog in the animal cruelty video was found dead. Police have identified the suspect as Mekhi Jackson If you have any information on his whereabouts, police say please DO NOT engage. Immediately call 911 or DKPD Det. Watson at 404-286-7990. @ATLNewsFirst https://t.co/CRoxlcRzHr
— Zac Summers (@ZacOnTV) March 17, 2023
The video shows a man chasing a dog down a flight of stairs. The dog cowers as the man punches it. He then grabs the animal by the neck and slams it against a concrete wall.
“It just breaks my heart this happens,” Sonja said holding back tears.
She was able to figure out the location of the incident by looking at the details in the video. Those clues led her to the Highlands at East Atlanta apartments on Flat Shoals Road.
“We knew what the stairwell looked like so that’s what we were kind of going based on that,” she explained.
Sonja said she filed a report with DeKalb County Animal Services on Tuesday. A picture shared with Atlanta News First shows one of the department’s trucks on site hours later. But Sonja said all she’s heard from Animal Services is that the incident is under investigation. No word on if they found the dog or the well-being of the animal.
“I’m just frustrated with these agencies, organizations that should be helping this animal,” Sonja said.
Atlanta News First reached out to DeKalb County Animal Services on Thursday. No one from the department responded to our inquiries. However, DeKalb County police (DKPD) confirmed they are assisting in the investigation to find the man in the video.
“I’m just worried,” Sonja said. “I’ll always be wondering if they don’t find the man and the dog, what happened to this dog. That’s the hardest part. The unknown, you know.”
Management at the complex told Atlanta News First dogs aren’t allowed on the property unless it’s a service animal. A leasing agent said, to date, only one resident has filed to have a service animal – and the animal is not the one seen in the video.
The DeKalb County Police Department says the dog seen in the video has died. They have identified the suspect as Mekhi Jackson and are asking for the public’s help in locating him. Police say if you see him, do not engage with him but call 911 or DKPD Det. Watson at 404-286-7990.
This story was provided by Decaturish news partner Atlanta News First.