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Felony Charge Against Palm Coast Man Accused of Ordering Dog to Brutalize a Neighbor

| June 19, 2017

john benedetto

John A. Benedetto.

John A. Benedetto, a 37-year-old resident of the Hammock, was charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon–his dog–after allegedly ordering it to attack his neighbor when his neighbor tried to stop Benedetto from allegedly abusing two women.

Both women corroborated the victim’s accusation that Benedetto had “sicced” the dog on him after allegedly punching him.

When two Flagler County Sheriff’s detectives traveled to Daytona Beach’s Halifax hospital to speak with Robert Brandon, the alleged victim, he looked brutalized: he had “several visible wounds,” with “obvious stitches on his upper right arm in two locations and his left forearm was completely wrapped up with a medical bandage,” according to Benedetto’s arrest report. “The left arm also was connected to a device to withdraw fluid from the wound.” His right eye was bruised.

He’d been in the hospital since June 3. According to Brandon, he intervened to stop a verbal argument between Benedetto and his two neighbors, a 48-year-old woman and a 62-year-old woman. Benedetto was “yelling and cursing” at the women as he looked for alcohol in one of the women’s cars. Brandon told him to stop, and that the women had done nothing wrong. At that point, he claims, Benedetto struck him in the face bruising his right eye, then grabbed him and hit him until Brandon hit the ground.

According to Brandon’s account, the two men were on the ground fighting when Benedetto’s dog, a 60 to 90-pound Mastiff mix breed, walked over as Benedetto allegedly gave it verbal commands to attack Brandon. Brandon said the dog viciously bit into his right arm, and when he tried to free himself, the dog grabbed his left arm. Brandon, according to the arrest report, “remembers [Benedetto] just watching as the dog attacked him. He verbalized ‘sic him’ over and over making the dog attack and bite” Brandon. Before the argument, the dog had been tied to a tree. Brandon said he could not explain how the dog had gotten loose.

Robert Brandon.

But Michelle Craig, the 48-year-old woman involved in the incident, told deputies that Benedetto had unsecured the dog from the tree and brought him over to Brandon, pulling the dog’s face over him and ordering the dog allegedly to attack. She said Brandon had initially intervened because, she claimed, Benedetto was charging after one of the women, and ended up striking the other as she passed him. The 62-year-old woman corroborated the incident.

After Brandon told Benedetto to get the dog off of him several times, Benedetto complied, according to Brandon, and put the dog in the trailer. In the past, Brandon told deputies, he’d cared for the dog when Benedetto would be absent.

Benedetto, deputies concluded in their report, “clearly used his dog as a lethal weapon against Robert Brandon with intent to inflict great bodily harm and did cause great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement.”

Craig, Benedetto and Brandon all have prior arrests, though Brandon’s arrest record is far more extensive, including some 14 bookings at the county jail in the past 10 years, several of those charges for aggravated or felony battery, and five stints in state prison since 1989 on burglary, grand theft and forgery convictions. He was last sentenced to a two-year prison term for felony battery in 2014. On June 12, he filed for an injunction against Benedetto. That petition is scheduled for a hearing on June 22.

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15 Responses for “Felony Charge Against Palm Coast Man Accused of Ordering Dog to Brutalize a Neighbor”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Benedetto should not be permitted to own a dog OR a firearm.

  2. Alphonso Zeimers says:

    Absolutely amazing the number of superior quality people that Palm Coast attracts. It can’t be anything other than the astronomical wages being paid in the area establishments.

  3. Katie Semore says:

    You lie with dogs, you will get fleas.

  4. Concerned Citizen says:

    Once again we see a pattern of repeat offenders and light sentencing.

    It takes a big man to hit on women (eye roll). And it looks like he was loosing man to man and had to let the dog intervene.

    Hopefully a judge will do the right thing and lock this guy up for awhile.

  5. Hopeful says:

    Absolutely horrible!

  6. Brian says:

    Sounds like a lovely neighborhood…..

  7. GT says:

    I bet the rich people that live next door a thrilled to have this bunch living in trailers in there back yards

  8. Benjamin Bartlett says:

    Wow, a new book!

    “Fear and Loathing in Palm Coast.”
    By Geezer

    Introduction: A Paranoid Wannabe City
    Chapter 1: Crooked Politicians Run Amok
    Chapter 2: Rising Taxes (taxes to go potty)
    Chapter 3: Regulate Palm Coast Homeowners to Death
    Chapter 4: Hoodlums and Weirdos–Come on Down!
    Chapter 5: A Primer on Aggressive Driving: The Joy of Rushing to Nowhere and Tailgating
    Chapter 6: Fear and Firearms: Lock and Load!
    Chapter 7: Woe is Me: My Rising Electric Bill
    Chapter 8: Woe is We: Crippling Water Bills
    Chapter 9: Giant Cockroaches
    Chapter 10: High Home and Auto Insurance Rates
    Chapter 11: Hurricane and Himacane Season: A Price Gouging Guide
    Chapetr 12: Covfefe Outbreaks
    Chapter 13: Domestic Abuse and ‘Gators
    Chapter 14: Liquor and Drug-Dealer Directory (exhaustive)
    Chapter 15: Flagler Sign Language: Going Beyond the Middle Finger…
    Chapter 16: Toilet-Seat Toss: A Game for the Whole Family
    Chapter 17: I Hate the World, and It Hates Me Back
    Chapter 18: Old Men With Fanny Packs and Motorcycles
    Chapter 19: Fast Food and E-Coli
    Chapter 20: What A Town Without Pity Can Do
    Chapter 21: Adventures in Walmart: A Tale of Walk-By Farters
    Epilogue: Getting the Hell Out, and Selecting a Moving Company

  9. Bc. says:

    No doubt this guy will kill one day. Why the hell is he out of prison. Judges please do you jobs and keep the scum bags away from us. This guy sounds like trouble should not be walking among us. Lock him up !!!!!!

  10. Ariana386 says:

    Order him to rehab—it would seem the biggest catalyst to the entire episode of “As The Stomach Turns” was preempted by him not getting the alcohol he was seeking, and then chose to abuse the women over it.

  11. USA Lover says:

    Typical Palm Coast dirt bag.

  12. MannyHM says:

    This guy should not own a dog, nor own a firearm, should be on parole for 20 years once he gets out, the neighbor should be informed, and periodic surprise warrantless search be done to make sure he abides with such restrictions.
    He needs a special kind of punishment, perhaps Singapore public caning if allowed here.

  13. woodchuck says:

    High fallunten neighbors

  14. Michael says:

    I have zero regrets of moving out of Palm Coast last year after 20+ years there. I saw this wonderful town turning into a haven for dirt-bags. You cannot have zero industry and at best $10 per hour jobs and expect not to attract these people.

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