FAIRFIELD — The man accused of drowning his family’s dog in the Fairfield Civic Center pond pleaded not guilty Wednesday to a felony animal cruelty charge.
Bryan A. Cavanah, 21, was ordered to return to court Aug. 26 for a probable cause hearing.
Cavanah’s father attended the arraignment hearing and explained to his son’s attorney that his son has long had epilepsy and sometimes has “trance-like seizures” and that he must have had a seizure while playing with the dog in the pond Monday morning.
Cavanah’s attorney asked Judge Peter B. Foor to release Cavanah from jail, since the dog drowning was “not a willful act” and “an aberrant incident.” Foor declined the request after noting that Cavanah was on probation for a 2010 felony assault with deadly weapon.
Witnesses to the dog drowning told police they saw Cavanah splashing with the pit bull and then holding the dog underwater until it drowned.
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