Man believes dog was shot as retribution for his 'snitching'

Dog shooting suspect charged with intimidation
Posted at 11:17 PM, May 15, 2017

CINCINNATI -- When Antone Prunty returned with police to the scene where his dog had been shot earlier Monday evening, passersby at the intersection of Linn and Poplar Street didn't react with sympathy.

Some shouted. As he drove away, one pitched a bottle at the back of his car.

Prunty said he believes the shooting itself and the hostile reaction he received for reporting it come from the same source: A taboo against "snitching" on the perpetrators of crimes.

"I guess if I get robbed out here, I'm supposed to turn around and do some street stuff to the people and get myself back in trouble," he said. "I'm not. That's what the police is here for."

Prunty reported a street robbery March 24 and identified a suspect April 20.

On Monday night, he said, an act of intended retribution arrived.

According to Prunty, he was setting up a location to table for No More Concrete, an outreach program intended to take youth from urban areas on a nature excursion over the summer, when another man attacked him.

When Prunty's dog attempted to protect him, Prunty said the shooter put a bullet in the dog and ran away. Although veterinarians expect the pup to survive, the scene was bloody, and he will need surgery.

Monday night, police arrested LaShawn D. Smith, 44, and charged him with intimidating a witness. In court documents, police said Smith intimidated Prunty and shot his dog. A judge gave Smith the choice between a $5,000 bond and electronic monitoring.

LaShawn D. Smith

"Smith approached (Prunty) and questioned him about why he pressed charges...then told him something was going to happen to him," the criminal complaint said. "The victim's dog was shot after this exchange of words."

The "no-snitch mentality" has been a major factor in inquiries surrounding recent cases such as the death of 9-year-old Alexandrea Thompson.

Hostility toward people perceived as tattletales to law enforcement -- whether the hostility stems from a desire to suppress one's own crime, to protect a loved one from legal comeuppance or deep-rooted distrust toward police in some communities -- can force promising investigations to a standstill.

"Everyone condoning this is an idiot," Prunty said. "Everybody who don't tell on the guy who shot the next guy, all you done is create a bigger monster out here on the streets."

The trial for the robbery Prunty initially reported is scheduled for Friday. Until then, he said he wouldn't be intimidated by Monday's incident.

"I got God," he said. "I don't care nothing about snitching."