A Missouri State football star was suspended indefinitely after allegedly animal abuse, punching a dog three times and breaking its jaw, according to reports Sunday.
UPDATE (At the End Below)
Bears quarterback Breck Ruddick, 20, hit the 42-pound Australian shepherd so hard, the pooch, Luca, lost teeth and was rushed to a vet with a shattered jaw, the Daily Mail reported.
The player was suspended Friday for “conduct detrimental to the team”; just hours after a Facebook post detailing the attack emerged; clear animal abuse case, the paper reported.
The player lost his cool, punched the dog and let him “run off, all alone and bleeding profusely,”; Shelby Filbeck, a friend of the dog’s owner, Katie Riggs, wrote in a Facebook post Friday afternoon.
Riggs “spent the whole night looking for her dog,” Filbeck said, according to the Daily Mail.
On Saturday, the college said the suspension was linked to the animal abuse allegations. Reddick won’t play again “until the situation is resolved,” said athletic director Kyle Moats.
“It’s obviously very serious. Not only athletics, but the entire university takes it very seriously,” Moats said Saturday night.
“That’s why there will be an internal investigation conducted by our Student Conduct office. We’ll take it from there once we find out what the findings are,” he said.
Despite the alleged attack, Ruddick traveled with the team to its game against Kansas State on Saturday, USA Today reported.
The Facebook post detailing the violent attack claims the dog needed surgery.
“He was then rushed over to the vet where they found that his jaw had been broken and he would need surgery,” Filbeck wrote.
She added, “The next day Luca went in for surgery where it was found that his jaw bones were shattered (not just broken), he had to have 6 teeth pulled, which will be permanently gone forever and they had to keep him at the vets for two days instead of one.”
The school’s Office of Student Conduct has launched an investigation and the findings will be turned over to the athletic department for team discipline, USA today reported.
“We want to make sure it’s thorough and we do it right, and however long that takes,” Moats said.
Former MSU quarterback, center of 2016 dog abuse investigation, finds new team
After allegations of animal abuse helped push him out of town, former Missouri State starting quarterback Breck Ruddick is back on the field nearly 400 miles away from Springfield.
It was less than a year ago when Ruddick was sitting on a bus headed toward Manhattan, Kansas when a hush fell over his Missouri State teammates.
Former Missouri State quarterback Breck Ruddick is now playing football at Delta State University in Cleveland, Mississippi.
He would never play for Missouri State again.
He was labeled as an animal abuser by his classmates and the community. An online petition demanding Ruddick’s removal from the team gathered more than 284,000 signatures.
Springfield Chief Municipal Prosecutor Carl Yendes said evidence of a dog bite was one of the reasons the city felt a plea agreement was appropriate when the deal was announced on Nov. 3.
When the dog bit him, that’s when Ruddick said he reacted.
“So I mean, obviously you all know what happened,” Ruddick said. “The dog bit me and I ended up retaliating.”
Ruddick said the dog latched on to his hand.
“If I could go back, I wouldn’t put myself in that situation,” Ruddick said. “If I was put in that situation, there’s no way that I would have had a different outcome than the one that happened.”
Despite seeing what he did, Ruddick said his teammates have been accepting of him.
Ruddick describes the area as having a “farmland mentality.” He said his new teammates were shocked that the story blew up as big as it did.
“People were more confused on why that was a big deal when so many other big things are going on,” Ruddick said. “I tried to explain to them the scenario because we were doing well and I was doing well, so it was a really big story and it was going to be a really good story for everybody.”
Today, Ruddick says he understands why so many people were upset with him by what they heard and saw on social media.
“I would really just tell them that I wish they could actually understand what really happened,” Ruddick said. “I wish they could understand what their words did to me emotionally. I’m not saying I was suicidal, but I definitely was depressed.
“If I could say anything to them, I guess it would be like ‘I wish you could get to know me before you made all those accusations that you made.'”