Prosecutors brought formal charges Monday against a Kenwood man suspected of attacking a woman and her dog in the Sonoma Valley last week.
Paul Mott, 53, faces a felony count of grand theft for allegedly grabbing the woman’s cellphone as she tried to take a picture of him during the Sept. 22 incident. He’s also charged with misdemeanor battery. Felony robbery and a misdemeanor animal cruelty charge were dropped, said Mott’s lawyer, Richard Ingram.
Mott, who was free on bail, would not comment as he stood outside court with Ingram.
“The actual charges are less than what he was originally booked on,” Ingram said. “He was just trying to defend his own dog that was attacked.”
If convicted, Mott’s maximum punishment is three years in jail or prison. He was ordered to return to court Oct. 9 to enter a plea or settle the case.
Police said the 60-year-old woman was walking her dog on Sonoma Developmental Center property when it got into a fight with a man’s dog and the man became enraged. The woman told deputies the man wrapped a leash around her neck, ripped off her glasses and threw her cellphone into a lake when she threatened to take his picture.
Police put out a description of the man and his clothing. Mott agreed to make a statement after hearing media reports of the incident and was later arrested. His bail was $50,000.