A West Plains man has been charged after allegedly attempting to take another man’s dog from a home he was evicted from about a year ago.

Ray Smith, 35, no permanent address, was served a warrant Monday and is held on charges of first-degree burglary, third-degree assault and stealing by physically taking. His bail is set at $5,000, according to court records.

Howell County Deputy James Hatten reported he arrived at a home on south U.S. 63 to find two men outside the residence, Hatten having been informed by dispatch that a subject had forced entry into the home and a physical altercation was in progress.

Hatten said he ordered the men to the ground and detained both. The alleged victim was one of the men detained, and the other was identified as Smith.

The alleged victim told Hatten that Smith had kicked in the front door, come inside and refused to leave before stating he was going to take the other man’s dog. A fight ensued after Smith was pushed by the other man, then Smith reportedly took the dog and went outside.

The incident was witnessed by a neighbor, who called 911. The woman said she saw Smith kick in the door and throw the alleged victim to the ground and leave the house with the dog. She helped get the dog back from Smith, she added.

Hatten noted the alleged victim had visible injuries from the assault, including red marks on his neck and scratches on an arm and wrist.

A second witness said he came to the victim’s aid and helped break up the fight, pushing Smith away. The owner of the home reported she had evicted Smith around January.    

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