Florida man arrested after beating teen he wrongfully blamed for killing his dog

LAKELAND, Fla. - A Lakeland man was arrested on Monday afternoon for allegedly beating up a 15-year-old boy he wrongfully blamed for the death his dog.

According to the Polk County Sheriff's Office, the boy was walking to a convenience store when he noticed a dog had apparently been hit and killed by a passing vehicle in front of the home.

That's when deputies say 25-year-old Antwan Houston came out of the home and blamed the boy for the death of his dog. Houston demanded the boy compensate him. He grabbed the boy's headphones, which were around his neck, and the boy pulled away.

Houston then began hitting the boy, knocking him to the ground and continued hitting and kicking him, according to the arrest affidavit.

Houston's roommate pulled him away from the boy and the child ran away and called law enforcement.

The boy, who suffered several abrasions, told deputies that if it wasn't for the roommate, he believes Houston would have killed him.

Houston told the detective that he blamed the boy for his dog's death because he was wearing a hoodie and walking by his yard while the dog was not tethered.

Deputies say that there was a lot of traffic in the area and there was no evidence that the boy had anything to do with the dog's death.

Houston was charged with robbery without a firearm/weapon. His criminal history includes five felony and five misdemeanor charges, including carrying a concealed weapon, drug possession, DWLSR, and violation of probation.

Mary Stringini is a digital reporter for ABC Action News. Follow her on Twitter @MaryWFTS.

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