DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - Tamia James spent a night in the Volusia County Jail, accused of animal cruelty. James bonded out, hired a lawyer, and now several weeks after her arrest, told FOX 35 News in an exclusive interview that all charges have been dropped. "You can't judge a situation unless you're in it," she says.
Last month, a neighbor called police after taking video of James hitting a pitbull puppy named Sky with her leash and leaving the dog crated on her balcony. James doesn't deny either, but she says no of it was criminal or cruel in any way. "The leash was soft, it wasn't a hard leash at all. They just made it to be more than what it was," she explains.
James is a Bethune-Cookman University student who is going to business school, hoping to one day to own an animal daycare. She says she loves animals and this got blown out of proportion with police and social media. Her lawyer Mitchell Wrenn says police never should have arrested James. "You're allowed to discipline your animals, and using the same standard as you would a child. It cannot be excessive," Wren says . "There is nothing here to show any discipline and that Tamia was addressing with Sky was excessive at all."
In a police report, it states officers didn't notice any signs of abuse or neglect. The animal shelter the police took her to said the same things. Which is why James was able to get Sky back the next day. Now, James is trying to get her record expunged. "Them comments, they are not gonna make me or break me. I'm still gonna succeed!"
James and her lawyer say they will be looking at civil suit against the Daytona Beach Police Department.