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West Fargo man accused of punching puppy

A West Fargo man is accused of punching a pit bull puppy twice in the face and registering a blood-alcohol level triple the legal limit for driving upon his arrest.

A misdemeanor charge of overworking, mistreating or abandoning an animal was filed Thursday against Jessy Duane Olson, 29, in Cass County District Court.

The charge stems from a call West Fargo police received on July 5 shortly before 7 p.m. about a pit bull puppy reported to be growling and aggressive toward people as it ran without a leash.

A West Fargo officer said in a police report included with court records that he saw Olson on the porch at 309 12th St. E. with a tan pit bull that appeared to be the age of a puppy.

As the officer approached the porch, he said he saw Olson holding the dog in a headlock as he raised his hand and hit it twice in the face with a closed fist.

"At that point, the puppy cowered and appeared to be quite startled from being assaulted," Officer Trent Stanton wrote. A child 5 or 6 years old watched as Olson allegedly hit the dog, Stanton said in the report.

Olson was immediately cuffed and interviewed in a squad car, and he denied punching his puppy, the police report stated.

But he did say the dog, named Cracker, had run off several times in recent days and that was why he was disciplining it.

When told he was seen punching Cracker, Olson said the dog didn't need to be hit but did need to be punished, police said.

Olson was arrested on suspicion of animal neglect and transported to the Cass County Jail, where a jailer administered a test that put Olson's BAC at .25. A BAC of .08 is the standard for drunken driving.

Cracker was seized by police and taken to the West Fargo Animal Hospital, the report stated.