On January 31, 2023, at approximately 8:30 p.m., an officer from the Cape Coral Police Department initiated a traffic stop on a vehicle for several traffic infractions at the 1800 block of Veterans Memorial Parkway East, Cape Coral, Lee County, Florida.
Contact was made with Anthony Alexio Tatum (W/M 10-05-1988, 1070 Grandys Lane #622, Lewisville, TX), who was this vehicle’s driver and sole occupant. When officers initially contacted Mr. Tatum, he was immediately argumentative and refused to identify himself. Mr. Tatum rolled up his window leaving a small 2-inch space open where he continued to disregard officers’ orders.
After being given numerous opportunities, Mr. Tatum continued to refuse to provide his identification and orders to step out of the vehicle. Officers utilized a department-issued window breaker to break the vehicle’s window to allow them to open the door and remove Mr. Tatum. Mr. Tatum continued to physically resist efforts to place him into handcuffs.
The investigation revealed that Mr. Tatum had three dogs in a covered kennel in the rear bed of his truck. These makeshift kennels were surrounded by plywood and wrapped in a tarp. There was poor ventilation, and the temperature inside the kennels was uncomfortably hot.
The dogs were panting from the scorching temperatures and appeared visibly distressed. The dogs covered in feces had bloody mouths from attempting to escape these unpleasant conditions. No food or water was located inside any of the kennels.
All three dogs were transferred into the care of Lee County Domestic Animal Services.
Mr. Tatum was subsequently transported to Lee County Jail.
Mr. Tatum was charged with the following:
- *Resisting Without Violence F.S.S. 843.02.
- *Failure to Register a Motor Vehicle F.S.S. 320.02(1).
- * Aggravated Animal Cruelty F.S.S. 828.12(2), [3 Counts].