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Sheriff: Fox 8 journalist attacked while covering story about kennel fined for animal mistreatment in Thomasville

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An owner of a Thomasville kennel and another man have been charged with attacking a WGHP/Fox 8 photojournalist Thursday afternoon, possibly breaking his jaw. The photojournalist was working on a story about the kennel being fined $1,400 on allegations of mistreating dogs.

Davidson County Sheriff Richie Simmons said Friday that Zachary Ryan Everhart, 35, and Marshall Lee Everhart, 57, were both charged with assault inflicting serious injury, larceny, common law robbery, second-degree kidnapping and two counts of injury to personal property.

Simmons said Zachary Everhart is one of the owners for Pretty Paws Country Club, which specializes in boarding, grooming and doggie daycare. Simmons said he believes Zachary Everhart and Marshall Everhart are related but did not know how.

Simmons said the assault is alleged to have happened at 12:15 p.m. Thursday. According to arrest warrants for Marshall Everhart, the photojournalist was Derrick Deon Reid. Reid’s LinkedIn page says he has worked for WGHP/Fox 8 since 2018.

Jim Himes, vice president and general manager for WGHP/Fox 8, declined to comment, citing the active investigation. He cited federal medical privacy laws in declining to comment about Reid’s condition.

According to WGHP/Fox 8 coverage, Reid was shooting video for a story about Pretty Paws Country Club, at 156 Cecil St. Arrest warrants allege that Marshall Everhart assaulted Reid, leaving him with broken or loosened teeth and possibly a broken jaw.

Marshall Everhart is accused of trying to take Reid’s video camera and causing more than $200 in damage to the equipment. He is also accused of holding Reid against his will and damaging Reid’s car to the tune of more than $200, arrest warrants said.

Arrest warrants for Zachary Everhart were not immediately available Friday.

Simmons said Marshall Everhart was arrested at the scene. Zachary Everhart left but later turned himself in at the Guilford County Sheriff’s Office. He was taken to a Guilford County magistrate and was released on a $10,000 bond, Simmons said.

Marshall Everhart was released on a $200,000 bond. Marshall Everhart has a court date for Aug. 29, and Zachary Everhart has a court date for Sept. 26.

In April, the Animal Welfare Section of the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services fined the kennel $1,400 for violations of the state Animal Welfare Act.

According to state documents, officials with the Animal Welfare Section received complaints about Pretty Paws and sent two employees in March to conduct a surprise inspection. They found 12 dogs housed together in an outdoor play area where the only water container was overturned, leaving the dogs without water. No one was supervising the dogs at the time.

Inspectors also found 19 dogs in another outdoor play area with one person supervising the animals. The water bowl was empty and the dogs were without water, according to state documents.

Several water receptacles on the property were damaged, officials said. Additionally, two dogs, Roxy and Stella, had to be separated for fighting. The dogs were not supposed to be housed together because they were considered incompatible. Roxy had serious injuries but was not taken to a veterinarian, according to state officials.

Another dog, named Bentley, became ill in early March and showed signs of “decreasing mentation and other neurological signs.” When the dog’s owner picked Bentley up, he took the dog to a veterinarian. Bentley tested positive for THC, authorities said.

The kennel was previously cited for violations during inspections in 2020.

336-727-7326

@mhewlettWSJ

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