HOUSTON (KTRK) -- The mailman caught on camera spraying three lap dogs with what appears to be pepper spray has been charged.
John Brucewayne O'Veal, 21, faces three misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty.
EXCLUSIVE: Mailman appears to pepper-spray dogs in video
In video exclusive to Eyewitness News, a uniformed US Postal Service letter carrier is seen approaching a home in northwest Houston. The dogs run to a tall gate and are sprayed with what appears to be pepper spray. Their owners said they couldn't open their eyes for 3 hours afterwards.
The dogs never seemed to pose a threat. The mailman and the mailbox were on one side. The dogs were on the other.
According to court documents, O'Veal told investigators with the Harris County Precinct 5 Constable's Office "he observed the dogs and their teeth. He sprayed the dogs as he was trained to do." Attempts to reach O'Veal for a response were unsuccessful.
The dogs' owner, Jose Cruz, doesn't believe that explanation and he didn't want the mailman fired or even charged. He only wanted to him to learn a lesson and to that end, Cruz thinks he has the perfect punishment for the man accused of hurting his dogs.
"I think a little community service. SPCA, that's where we got Bella. We rescued her. It hurts what he did," Cruz told Eyewitness News.
The USPS has not responded to a request for comment. A spokesman has said they couldn't comment on whether the mailman was disciplined because it's a personnel matter.
O'Veal has a warrant out for his arrest. He has no criminal record in Harris County.