Deputies: Florida man swerved toward dog killed in hit-and-run

The disturbing incident was captured on home surveillance video

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NEW SMYRNA BEACH, Fla. – Disturbing surveillance video helped lead to the arrest of a Florida man accused of running over a Volusia County woman’s dog on purpose and leaving the animal for dead.

The owner told deputies she learned her dog, Thomas, was found dead Thursday on the roadside near her New Smyrna Beach home. The next day, she saw what unfolded on a neighbor’s security system.

Footage showed a white pickup truck traveling down the road when it swerved sharply toward the dog and ran it over. The driver got out, nudged and kicked the dog, and then drove away.

The dog did not survive.

A passerby who witnessed the incident identified the driver as Robert Joseph Kayat, according to the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office. Kayat, 29, later met up with deputies to give his version of the story.

Deputies said Kayat told them he did not mean to strike the dog, saying he intentionally veered in its direction to scare the animal, the Sheriff’s Office said. He was arrested Sunday evening.

Kayat was booked into the Volusia County jail on a third-degree felony charge of animal cruelty. He was released from custody after posting $2,500 bond.

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