Man charged with tossing dog off Clark Bridge in court - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Man charged with tossing dog off Clark Bridge in court

Posted: Updated:
Damon Bledsoe Damon Bledsoe

By Elizabeth Donatelli - bio | email
Posted by Charles Gazaway - email

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The man accused of throwing a dog off the Clark Memorial Bridge appeared before a judge Wednesday and was not happy about being there.

On July 26, witnesses called 911 to report that a man threw a dog off the bridge into the Ohio River. Louisville firefighters rescued the dog with the help of a University of Louisville student, who then adopted the dog.

39-year-old Damon Bledsoe was arrested on Tuesday and charged with animal cruelty. Wednesday morning, Bledsoe went before a judge who kept the bond at $10,000. Bledsoe didn't like that very much, said he didn't do anything and swore at Jefferson District Court Judge Katie King.

Bledsoe has a lengthy criminal history, but it does not include prior animal abuse charges. His arrest warrant reads that on July 26, Bledsoe threw a dog off the Clark Memorial Bridge and then told witnesses he was going to do the same with their kittens.

Some at Joe's Crab Shack saw the dog being tossed into the river. Waitress Kelsey Westbrook ran down to help and called the dog to safety with the help of Louisville firefighters.

"She knew my voice and that's what kind of made us have a connection. When she got out of the water, she started licking me like crazy," said Westbrook.

From that moment on, the two were inseparable. Westbrook named the dog, who ended up being fine after the fall, Sunny.

"She feel anxious about me leaving because her previous owner threw her to her death," Westbrook said. "I would be anxious about someone leaving me too if that happened."

Bledsoe is charged with a misdemeanor and cannot get more than a year behind bars or a fine over $500.

"You know if someone had thrown a child off the bridge we would never see that person again. S animals don't have a voice just like a baby doesn't. We have to speak for them and stand up for them," Westbrook said.

On October 17, Westbrook is holding a fundraiser at Joe's Crab Shack to shed light on animal cruelty. The money will go to area low income spay and neuter clinics. Cost is $15 for adults; kids under 12 get in free. There will be plenty of live music and food.

Copyright 2009 WAVE-TV and Raycom Media. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.