A 17-year-old boy has been charged with animal cruelty after allegedly leaving a young dog locked in a car with all the windows closed at Busch Gardens.
A James City County Police officer at Busch Gardens was notified by a bystander around 4:45 p.m. Monday about a dog that was locked in a vehicle in the France parking lot, police spokeswoman Stephanie Williams said.
The officer responded to the car and saw a young pit bull in distress in the vehicle. The car was locked and all the windows were closed, Williams said.
As police worked to locate the owner of the car and dog, the officer used a door-opening tool to get the dog out of the vehicle.
When the 17-year-old owner arrived at the car, he confronted the officer, Williams said. The owner then tried to walk away, at which point the officer attempted to take him into custody.
The teenager then turned around to hit the officer and the two got into a scuffle as the officer tried again to take the teenager into custody, Williams said.
The teenager was taken into custody and sustained minor injuries from the altercation, police said. The officer also sustained minor injuries.
The teenager was taken to the Merrimac Detention Center and charged with assault on a law enforcement officer, animal cruelty and possession of marijuana.
The dog was picked up by animal control, Williams said.
“Monday afternoon, Busch Gardens was notified about a dog that was left in an unattended guest vehicle,” park spokeswoman Cindy Sarko said. “James City Country Police was notified and arrived on property immediately. The officers safely removed the dog from the car. Further questions regarding the situation should be directed to James City County Police.”
Update: This story has been updated with a statement from Busch Gardens.