Man jailed after beating puppy with master lock

December 27, 2019


Ventura police officers arrested a homeless man on Tuesday for beating a puppy with a large master lock near a bus depot.

At about 12:25 p.m., a Gold Coast Transit bus driver called police and reported a man was beating a dog with a lock near the bus depot in the 3300 block of Telegraph Road. Several witnesses confronted the man, whom officers later identified as Ezekiel Heterwegscheider, police said.

Heterwegscheider, 26, fled the area on foot. But, officers located him at a gas station near the intersection of Telegraph and Mills roads.

Investigators spoke with several witnesses who said Heterwegscheider was attacking and hitting his mixed breed puppy with a large master lock that was attached to a rope. Witnesses said Heterwegscheider left with the dog when individuals who were waiting at the bus depot confronted him.

Officers arrested Heterwegscheider for felony animal cruelty. Ventura County Animal Services officers took custody of the dog. Officer’s did not release the dog’s condition.


Slo county has no mental health services for children. Atascadero and Paso piggy back off churches for homeless housing, Paso now putting one next to the sewer plant and 101, so fitting, sleep next to feces. People are renting out their 5th wheel trailers for 1300 a month around here, heartless. People eat Dogs in Chinese Provinces, animals are abused daily, people made jokes about the truck carrying chickens tipping over, pretty sick. But because you relate dogs to family, people freak out? There’s approx 3k homeless children in this county. I’d love to see some of the animal advocates put their money where their mouth is and do something rather than be keyboard heros. I do, I help.


Since the article wasn’t about beating children with master locks, children’s advocates decided to sit this one out?

Francesca Bolognini

Pretty sad that people with nothing better to do than troll this site are putting your post down for mentioning their cognitive dissonance (lack of consistency between statements, beliefs and actions) while sitting around on their computers criticizing. About what I expect from people who use fake names to express their meanness. We (collectively) have serious problems and all they can do is demean and threaten and ignore the causes. That level of self righteousness and animosity is usually a sign of deep insecurity. But I want to thank you for your words. We owe animals a deep debt of gratitude for all the mistreatment they receive from us without retaliation. We need to have more respect for all life.

Francesca Bolognini

Homeless people who own animals vary as much as those who have homes. Many that I have observed take better care of their best friend than they do for themselves. Frequently you will find that these pets are fully cared for medically, including current shots, etc. They are kept warm and fed and groomed as best as possible. Their owners may have no other source of love or companionship. Many of said owners resist shelters because their companion will not be allowed in. Without their companion animal, many of them would likely have no actual reason to continue.

Did you know that a study in Canada found that something like 60% of homeless have traumatic brain injury? This goes a long way toward explaining their employment difficulties and their social challenges and why there are so many homeless veterans. It also, sadly, may explain violent behavior towards a helpless puppy. I am very grateful for people who intervened and (I hope) saved this little creature. I am also glad that this obviously unstable person was removed from the public before he caused even more harm.

I wish all who are homeless and cold a warm bed and enough to eat and someone to care.


Except for those who would gladly pay to view and/or bring popcorn; I find it very disturbing that there has not been a much more vocal outpouring about this story. Are not there many more who believe this was a despicably action and deserves to be responded to with malice upon the perpetrator?

If we, as a society, accept this as ‘normal’ or as the doings of some vagrant or homeless ‘non-person’ who has a long record with many jurisdictions; probably a bad childhood (or any of those other excuses that are used to explain or justify such behavior) – then what does that say?

I, personally, don’t care if this individual was crazy, homeless, drunk, or drugged or anything else.

There should be very extreme consequences for beating a defenseless animal. And if our legal system does not accept that – then our legal system is wrong.


Felony animal cruelty


I once came upon a man in Atascadero beating a horse with a knotted rope, I pulled over, jumped the fence, and knocked him down. I took the rope away and the fact that I did not beat him with it was all that saved my job (I was working at the time). Actions have consequences.


Trouble seems to follow Ezekiel around the whole country in his nomadic wanderings. He is well known to many legal jurisdictions.


Whenever I see a bum with a dog I immediately feel bad…for the dog. I used to feel a tiny bit guilty for this, but this episode reinforces the reasons why.


I am required to pay for a license for my dog. You can’t get a dog license if you don’t have an address. I am required to provide a safe home for my dog but homeless people are not ? If animal reg would enforce their own laws, things like this would not happen. Why are they not enforcing their own regulations?

Jorge Estrada

Sad that mental illness can go this far. Hopefully he will get a much needed behavioral therapist and be assigned to work in animal shelter. This could have a happy ending for all.


I appreciate your compassion.


I know this is the holiday season, but I would gladly pay to have 10 minutes alone with this scumbag using the same master lock and rope. Anyone who would do this to a defenseless puppy

does not deserve to be a member of the human race.


And I would gladly buy the pay-per-view to watch you do it.


I’ll bring the popcorn…


And your lesson in civics will teach him?…

From my experience; talking tough is much easier than acting compassionately.