Man wanted for tossing puppy out of car caught in meth lab bust
CHARLESTON, W.Va. - A meth lab bust resulted in the suspect also being served with a warrant charging him in the tossing of a puppy from a pickup truck last fall.
Timothy Loudermilk, 53, of North Charleston was charged Wednesday with attempting to operate a meth lab, but a check for warrants revealed an outstanding felony charge in Boone County.
Loudermilk was indicted in April on a felony animal cruelty charge stemming from an October incident, Boone Chief Deputy Chad Barker said.
He was arraigned on that charge Wednesday in Boone Circuit Court, according to a clerk in the Boone Circuit Clerk's office.
Deputies K.D. McCarty and A.D. Keadle were patrolling W.Va. 94 in the Lens Creek area the morning of Oct. 14.
The northbound deputies were two vehicles behind a yellow Ford pickup loaded with junk when they saw a small black and white puppy be thrown from the passenger side window, according to a complaint filed in Boone Magistrate Court.
The puppy rolled along the asphalt, bleeding from the nose and mouth, deputies wrote in the complaint. The pickup kept going as the deputies stopped to help the puppy, which could not stand on its own.
"We take crimes against animals seriously," Barker said. "We get animal complaints pretty regularly and always have a deputy follow up. Sometimes there's something to it, and other times there isn't."
Then-Sheriff Rodney Miller said at the time that residents said dogs often were dumped in the area.
The officers rushed the puppy to the Animal Emergency Clinic in South Charleston, where it was treated for minor injuries and adopted by one of the clinic workers, Barker said.
Deputies posted the puppy's picture on the department's Facebook page. Officers received a tip on the truck's whereabouts and a possible suspect less than a week later, on Oct. 20.
Keadle and McCarty went to Loudermilk's 26th Street home in North Charleston to investigate and found a 1979 yellow Ford single-cab truck.
Loudermilk told deputies he had driven the truck to Boone County on Oct. 14 to pick up a friend's all-terrain vehicle.
"I had the pup in the back (bed of the truck). It must've jumped out," Loudermilk told the deputies when asked about the puppy.
He said two others were in the truck with him, including Scotty Thompson, who also was indicted on a cruelty charge in April.
Keadle and McCarty wrote in the complaint that Loudermilk's statements conflicted with what they witnessed.
The deputies saw no dog jumping or moving around in the back of the truck, according to the complaint.
The puppy was tossed from the right passenger window from a height above the end railing of the pickup's bed. Its back was parallel to the road "as if someone had been cradling the puppy inside the cab of the truck" when it was thrown, the complaint said.
A Boone grand jury heard the investigators' findings when it convened in April and issued indictments for Loudermilk and Thompson. Arrest warrants were issued for both.
Information on Wednesday's arrest in Charleston was limited as the complaint could not easily be located at Kanawha Magistrate Court.
Loudermilk is being held on $35,000 bond in South Central Regional Jail.
Contact writer Ashley B. Craig at firstname.lastname@example.org or 304-348-4850.
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