Sheriff’s Deputy Faces Felony Animal Cruelty For Fatally Stomping Girlfriend’s Cat

Published: September 09, 2022 at 07:05 PM Author: PENNY EIMS

Tampa, Florida – A Florida sheriff’s deputy is facing a felony animal cruelty charge for killing his girlfriend’s cat, Axel. The Tampa Police Department identifies Eric Harris as the man who stomped his former girlfriend’s three-year-old cat to death in late August.

According to the authorities, Harris attacked the cat on August 21, after getting into an argument with his then-girlfriend of six months. The woman left the apartment and returned the next day, finding her two cats cowering in crates. After the heated argument, Harris’s girlfriend left the apartment but when she returned at around 7 pm the next night, she found both cats hiding in their crate. When she tried to take out her 3-year-old cat Axel, she found him with broken and bleeding toenails. A report by the police claimed Axel was acting weird and unable to walk.

Axel was rushed to a Sarasota veterinarian after his owner discovered broken, bloodied toenails and witnessed his inability to stand. At the veterinarian, the gravity of Axel’s injuries was apparent and the veterinarian recommended that he be transferred to an emergency animal hospital. But there was nothing that could save the cat, and he died the same day. Because of the severity of Axel’s injuries, the veterinarian contacted the authorities to report suspected abuse.

Detectives questioned Harris, but he denied any wrongdoing; claiming that Axel was “fine” when he was with him.

A necropsy performed on August 26 by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) revealed how much damage had been inflicted on Axel’s small body. The Tampa PD detailed the grim findings:

“Axel suffered severe hemorrhaging and bruising to internal organs, facial injuries, including a missing tooth, and markings were found on his body indicating that he had been stomped. His cause of death was ruled as blunt force trauma.”

Please add your name to the petition today. Eric Harris’ excuse for his brutal attack on Axel was anger because the cats got on the furniture and counters; that anger was taken out on Axel in the worst way possible. A grown man viciously stomped a small, fragile cat to death.

We the undersigned demand that Eric Harris be held responsible for fatally attacking a cat named Axel. We are petitioning for Harris to receive the maximum punishment allowable by law for his felony charge of Aggravated Cruelty to Animals. At sentencing, we hope to see Harris prohibited from owning or residing with animals in the future. 

*The Pasco Sheriff’s Office has confirmed that Harris has been terminated; he was promptly released from jail after posting bond.

Note: Individuals are presumed innocent until they have been found guilty in a court of law. Animal Victory relies upon the authorities and the court system to determine guilt or innocence.

News:

Tampa.gov Press Release

WIBW News

WSVN News

Pasco News

Update 3/25/2024: Animal Victory sent the petition and updated signatures to the DA and Judge. 

Update 3/21/2024: Disposition hearing on 4/01/2024, Courtroom 14 – In person. 401 Jefferson Street, Tampa, FL. 33602, Judicial Officer, Robin Fusion

Update 11/28/2023: Disposition is scheduled for 11/30/2023. Pre-trial is scheduled on 1/16/2024. The Jury trial is scheduled on 1/23/2024 at 8:30 a.m. E.S.T. in Courtroom 14, 401 Jefferson St., Tampa, FL. 33602. Judge Robin F. Fusion is presiding.

Update 11/21/2023: Animal Victory sent the petition and updated signatures to the DA. 

Update 11/14/2023: Animal Victory has learned that the disposition has been reset for 11/30/2023 at 1:30 pm. The Pre-trial and Jury trial dates remain the same.

Update 10/27/2023: Disposition is set for 11.07.2023 at 8:30 am, Pre-trial set for 01.16.2024 at 8:30 am, Jury Trial set for 01.24.2024 at 8:30 am, in the Hillsborough County Criminal Court, Courtroom 14.

Update 5/11/2023: Animal Victory has learned that the next scheduled court date is on 5/24/2023 at 8:30 am.

Update 4/3/2023: Animal Victory has learned that the defendant is due in court on 04/12/2023 at 8:30 am in room 14.

Update 1/28/2023: Animal Victory sent the petition to the judge.

Update 1/11/2023: The courts have scheduled a disposition hearing on 2/28/23 at 8:30 am with Judge Robin Fuson at the Hillsborough County Criminal Court Room 14, 401 N Jefferson St. Tampa FL, 33602 Harris

Update 12/2/2022: Animal Victory has learned that the next court date, titled ‘Disposition’, is set for 12/14/2022 at 8:30 a.m. in courtroom 14.

Update 9/19/2022: Arraignment scheduled for 10/04/2022 at 1:30 pm in courtroom 14. Animal Victory has sent 14,020 signatures along with our petition to State Attorney Lindsey Hodges.

Summary Case Info

Prior Signatures 17,263

Sheriff's Deputy Faces Felony Animal Cruelty For Fatally Stomping Girlfriend's Cat

8,451 signatures = 42% of goal
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Latest Signatures
8,451Anonymous 0 Jun 20, 2024
8,450 luke A. 0 Jun 02, 2024
8,449 Mirna C. 0 May 29, 2024
8,448 Samantha H. 0 May 19, 2024
8,447 Joana G. May 10, 2024
8,446 Ingrid F. May 09, 2024
8,445 Jill H. May 05, 2024
8,444 Crystal T. May 03, 2024
8,443 mary c. May 02, 2024
8,442 Cheryl D. Fire him and punish him to the ull extent of the law Apr 27, 2024
8,441 Zachary S. Apr 26, 2024
8,440 C B. Apr 20, 2024
8,439 C B. Apr 20, 2024
8,438 C B. Apr 20, 2024
8,437 C B. Apr 20, 2024
8,436 C B. Apr 20, 2024
8,435 C B. Apr 20, 2024
8,434 Vicky B. Nice sheriff, please stay away from my town. We don’t need any clowns like you. What a low life Apr 19, 2024
8,433 Joannie R. Apr 18, 2024
8,432 Allan R. Apr 18, 2024
8,431 Maxine G. Apr 18, 2024
8,430 terry f. Apr 17, 2024
8,429 Laura W. You should not be able to ever own an animal. Or have a job over people children animals or anything else and you need to go to jail. Apr 17, 2024
8,428 Omaira D. Apr 17, 2024
8,427 Dee P. Apr 15, 2024
8,426 sarah r. Apr 14, 2024
8,425 Lucas M. The judge should have automatically put this deranged barbarian in jail that same day!!!! It’s a shame these judges don’t care about animals and let these scumbags get off! Shame on these idiot judges- they’re no good! Why have them if they won’t help the helpless??? If I was the cats owner I would have taken care of the asshole myself! Don’t need a judge! Apr 12, 2024
8,424 Rajita C. Apr 11, 2024
8,423 Kim A. Apr 11, 2024
8,422 Marleen V. En dit noemt zich sheriff Sluit hem best op !! Apr 11, 2024
8,421 Carol L. Apr 09, 2024
8,420 anna a. Apr 09, 2024
8,419 Paul F. Apr 09, 2024
8,418 dazione m. Apr 07, 2024
8,417 Ann D. Apr 07, 2024
8,416 Jeannette B. Apr 06, 2024
8,415Anonymous Prosecute to the fullest extent of the law and do not allow him to work in any kind of public service position! Apr 06, 2024
8,414 Christian V B. Apr 06, 2024
8,413 Melisa M. Should be arrested and not a cop!!!! Sick!!!! Karma will get him!!!! Apr 05, 2024
8,412 Bettina M. Apr 04, 2024
8,411 Yasmin A. Stomp this man to death!!! Apr 04, 2024
8,410 Brenda R. Apr 04, 2024
8,409 Brenda R. Apr 04, 2024
8,408 Beverly S. This evil bring should be penalized to the maximum extent of the law. This is cruelty and abuse that can no longer be tolerated we need to set examples by locking these evil people up for a very long time . Apr 03, 2024
8,407 Katarzyna K. Apr 03, 2024
8,406 Helle D. A dangerous man who are not able to work in that kind of job ever again. People need stabile leaders and he sure is not stabile, but dangerous- And a small private dispute make him go in to this killing a small little cat . That man has a very mean character and is in no position of having any animals ever again. Apr 02, 2024
8,405 Janet B. Apr 02, 2024
8,404 Ira K. Apr 02, 2024
8,403Anonymous Apr 02, 2024
8,402 Karen F. Apr 01, 2024