Published: Jan 24, 2014 12:28 PM EST
Updated: Jan 24, 2014 6:18 PM EST

LEE COUNTY, Fla.- Lee County Sheriff's deputies arrested 56-year-old Larry Peterson for animal cruelty after he allegedly choked his dog to death after it attacked another dog.

According to his arrest report, just before 3:00 p.m. on January 18th, Peterson's large brown and white dog attacked an unknown Yorkshire Terrier at the Daniels Pkwy. rest area. 

Witnesses said Peterson immediately sprung into action to separate the dogs, asking a bystander for knife to "cut the dog's head off" after the attack. That's when Peterson allegedly strangled the dog until it was no longer breathing. Another witness saw Peterson straddling the dog and choking him, at which time the witness called 911.

The owner of the Yorkie told deputies she was walking her dog when Peterson's dog jumped out of a van and attacked her Yorkie. The larger dog grabbed her Yorkie by the stomach and shook it violently. As soon as it happened, Peterson exited the vehicle, kicked his dog, and was able to separate the two. The Yorkie's owner grabbed the dog and left the scene to take it for treatment. The Yorkie sustained puncture wounds to it's stomach and lung.

Peterson agreed to speak with deputies. They noticed that he did not have any signs of being attacked by a dog.

Animal Control arrived on the scene and took custody of the deceased dog and another dog in Peterson's vehicle.

At the conclusion of the investigation, it was determined that Peterson intentionally killed his dog. As he was being transported to the jail, Peterson became verbally abusive and began to complain of back pain. As a precaution, he was taken to Lee Memorial Hospital, and was taken to the jail upon his release.