St. Petersburg man threw a caged Chihuahua at his cousin during fight, police say.

Stephone Johnson, 27, faces as misdemeanor domestic battery charge.
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Check for the latest breaking news and updates. [ Tampa Bay Times ]
Published Nov. 2, 2019|Updated Nov. 2, 2019

ST. PETERSBURG — A St. Petersburg man couldn’t let sleeping dogs lie during a family argument Tuesday evening. Now, he’s facing a misdemeanor battery charge for picking up a metal dog cage with a one-year-old Chihuahua named Roscoe inside, and lobbing it as his cousin during a fight, according to a St. Petersburg police report.

Stephone Johnson, 27, was booked into the county jail that evening and released on his own recognizance the following day, court records show. A Pinellas County judge allowed Johnson to be released without bail, but only under a “no contact” order preventing him from returning to the home he shares with his cousin on 18th Avenue South, near Perkins Elementary School. The order also prevents Johnson from owning any firearms or ammunition.

According to his arrest report, the two cousins and several witnesses were inside the home when an argument broke out at about 7:30 p.m. Johnson then made a “threatening statement to harm" his cousin and others inside the home before chucking the caged Chihuahua at his cousin, the arrest report said.

The black metal cage, with the dog locked inside, struck the cousin on the inside of her upper left arm, causing a minor bruise, the arrest report said. The report made no mention of whether Roscoe was injured.

When questioned by police, Johnson later admitted to “throwing the dog and the cage.” the arrest report said. Johnson has amassed at least a dozen convictions in Pinellas County for minor crimes, including trespassing, theft, and fleeing and eluding a police officer. Among the prior charges is a battery conviction for shoving his mother during an argument, court records show.