Weinhart, Lawrence

Mug shot for 20-year-old Lawrence Weinhart

PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- A man faces charges of animal cruelty and burglary after allegedly throwing rocks at and physically abusing horses earlier this week in Phoenix.

According to the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office, deputies responded on September 2 around 9:30 a.m. to an undisclosed location in Phoenix for a report of animal cruelty. A 911 caller reported that their surveillance video recorded two people throwing large rocks at their two horses for about a half-hour earlier that morning.

Court paperwork revealed that the woman's husband thought the horses were simply acting up, but after looking at the surveillance video, found two people, identified as 20-year-old Lawrence Weinhart and a teen boy, "taunting, punching, and throwing large rocks" at a horse. Documents state both of them could be seen throwing rocks, but detectives could not positively identify them because of the poor quality of the video.

Deputies were able to identify the suspects because of the couple's social media campaign. Deputies say multiple tips led them to Weinhart as well. A friend of the two suspects told investigators that although the video wasn't clear, he immediately knew it was them.

In an interview with investigators, Weinhart admitted to grabbing and tossing river rocks from the yard without having permission to be there, but actually denied throwing rocks at the horses. MCSO says Weinhart faces one count of third-degree burglary and two counts of animal cruelty. 

Editor's Note: Arizona's Family is not identifying the teen boy involved because he is a minor.

Copyright 2021 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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