Sometimes the law enforcement system’s definition of “justice” does not match up with common sense, as in the case of an Army veteran from Athens, Georgia who saved the life of an innocent dog. When Michael Hammons saw that someone had left a small dog inside of a hot car, he sprang into action – but his heroic efforts got him placed under arrest.
Hammons, who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of his military service, was out shopping with his wife when he noticed a Pomeranian mix stranded inside of a car on an 80-degree day. He grabbed the closest blunt implement, the footrest of his wife’s wheelchair, and smashed the window open, saving the dog from heat-related injury or death.
“I’ve got PTSD and I’ve seen enough death and destruction. And I didn’t want anything else to happen if I could prevent it,” Hammons said in a statement to local news station WXIA-TV. The dog’s owner, however, saw the situation differently. “She said, ‘you broke my window,’ and I said, ‘I did,’” said Hammon, who felt no remorse for his actions.
The woman decided to press charges against Hammon for the destruction of her car’s window. Even though Hammons acted to save the dog’s life, the law required cops to respond to the woman’s charges, which meant that Hammon was arrested for criminal trespassing. According to Oconee County Chief Deputy Lee Weems, the only reason Hammons was arrested was because the woman demanded he be charged.
Hammons claims that the dog had been left to suffer in the hot car for a prolonged period of time; the dog’s owner says that she was gone from her car for around five minutes. Regardless, Hammons maintains that he did the right thing: “I knew there’d be consequences, but it didn’t matter. Glass, they make new glass every day, but they could never replace that dog,” he said. While the woman faces no criminal charges, she did reportedly receive a citation for leaving the dog in the car unattended.