CECIL COUNTY — A man serving an 18-month sentence for beating, kicking and strangling his family’s six-month-old puppy to death is now facing an assault charge, after he allegedly punched an inmate in the Cecil County Detention Center, according to court records.
The suspect, Ibe Nyshere Lyles, 42, allegedly attacked a fellow prisoner on Jan. 25 inside the jail, where surveillance cameras videotaped the incident, police reported.
“Lyles can be seen on camera in the yellow tier dayroom area as he attempts to pull (the inmate) into a cell to engage in a physical altercation. Lyles can be seen striking the (inmate) in the face with a closed fist. Lyles then leaves the area, only to return approximately one to two minutes later, when he strikes (the inmate) in the face a second time with a closed fist,” Cecil County Sheriff’s Office Dfc. Robert Freyer outlines in charging documents.
Court records indicate that the 27-year-old inmate Lyles allegedly assaulted is awaiting a April 6 trial in a criminal case in which he is charged with unauthorized use of a motor vehicle and a Feb. 28 violation-of-probation hearing relating to a drug possession conviction.
Moreover, according to court records, a Cecil County Circuit Court judge imposed a 60-day sentence on that inmate Monday for a malicious-destruction-of-property conviction.
After investigating the Jan. 25 incident inside the jail, police charged Lyles with second-degree assault on Friday, court records show. Second-degree assault is a misdemeanor that is punishable by up to 10 years in prison. Lyles is scheduled for a March 2 preliminary hearing, according to court records.
Fatal animal cruelty charge
As for the criminal case that put Lyles behind bars, Cecil County District Court Judge Clara E. Campbell imposed a maximum three-year sentence on Lyles in July after he pleaded guilty to aggravated animal cruelty, the most serious charge against him, according to court records and Cecil Whig archives.
Lyles beat, kicked and strangled the family’s six-month-old puppy pit bull named “Deuces” to death on April 15 in the backyard of that Cecil County residence — because the pet had urinated on his couch, court records show.
One of the eyewitnesses videotaped the deadly attack on a cellphone and called authorities to lodge a complaint, police reported shortly after the incident.
The judge suspended one month of the sentence and then ordered Lyles to serve two years of supervised probation, after completing his 35-month term in a Maryland Department of Corrections prison.
Campbell barred Lyles from “owning or possessing” an animal during his two-year supervised probationary period and also precluded him from residing with one during that time. In addition, the judge ordered Lyles to undergo a psychiatric evaluation and fined him $1,000.
Lyles appealed that criminal case, however; and he received an 18-month jail term on Dec. 9 after, once again, pleading guilty to aggravated animal cruelty, according to Cecil County Circuit Court records. Specifically, the judge imposed a three-year sentence on Lyles in that appealed case and then suspended half of it, leaving him with an 18-month jail term, court records show.
The judge also ordered Lyles to serve two years of supervised probation after completing his jail term, according to court records.
Lyles’ fatal attack on the pet puppy in April is the first of two animal cruelty cases connected to that Cecil County residence, according to court records.
Animal and child sexual abuse allegations
On Jan. 5, some nine months after the April 15 incident, a 19-year-old man — Diwann M. Bridges — allegedly committed criminal acts against a dog and three children at the same Cecil County residence where Lyles killed the puppy, court records show.
Lyles was a residential custodian of Bridges and the three children at the time that he killed the puppy last spring.
In this most recent animal cruelty case, Bridges allegedly made his three younger siblings — ages 7, 9 and 11 — inappropriately touch the family’s dog while he digitally penetrated the male pet inside their Cecil County home, according to charging documents.
Bridges also stands accused of using a lighter to ignite a flame on the dog’s bottom during the incident.
Bridges is charged with 11 offenses, including perverted sex practice, four counts of aggravated animal assault and three counts of child sex abuse, all of which are felonies, according to Cecil County District Court records.
He also is charged with three counts of contributing to the condition of a minor, which is categorized as a misdemeanor, court records show.
With a preliminary hearing set for Friday, Bridges remains in the Cecil County Detention Center without bond.
Detectives with a Cecil County police agency started their investigation at approximately 6 p.m. on Jan. 8, after the suspect’s mother contacted authorities, police said.
She did so after her three younger children told her that Bridges allegedly “did some weird things with the dog when he was watching them” on Jan. 5, while their mother was attending a wedding, police added.
During a joint interview, the three children told the lead investigator that “Bridges was mean to the dog and tried to light the dog’s butt on fire,” court records allege.
The children also told the investigator that they inappropriately touched the male dog — at Bridges’ instruction — while he digitally penetrated the animal, according to the charging document.
After interviewing the children, the investigator arrested Bridges, court records show.
Cecil County Animal Services officers Brittany Lambert and Daniel Puhalski took control of the dog in question and joined in the investigation, after the lead detective contacted that agency, police reported.
“Animal service officers advised me that they will taking the dog directly to the vet for a rape kit. Animal service officers also advised me that they have an open case with the residents that live at (that Cecil County residence) due to reports of animal cruelty,” according to the charging document.