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The Villages
Thursday, September 28, 2023

Hotel guest arrested after allegedly striking dog with flip flop

Ota Zverina
Ota Zverina

A guest at a hotel in The Villages was arrested after allegedly striking a dog with his flip flop.

Ota Zverina, 48, of Eunice, La., was a guest at the Marriott TownePlace Suites at Spanish Springs this past weekend when he was apparently enraged by the dog “pooping on the carpet of Room 231 and him stepping on the dog’s feces,” according to an arrest report from the Lady Lake Police Department. He took off his flip flop and struck the dog three times “causing it to yelp and squeal.” The dog was “traumatized and hid underneath a table.” The woman who owns the dog picked up the pet, “grabbed her younger sister” and left the hotel for 30 minutes.

When she returned and tried to reclaim her belongings in Room 231, Zvernia punched her with a closed fist and placed both of his hands on her neck, attempting to choke her. The younger sister told police she used a broom stick to strike Zverina in the back when he would not let go of her sister’s neck.

When police officers spoke with Zverina, they noticed he had “a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage emitting from his breath.” The Villages Public Safety Department was summoned to the scene and performed an evaluation of Zverina, who had suffered an injury to his left eye. A criminal history check revealed he had been arrested in 2005 in Louisiana on a charge of simple battery.

The California native was arrested on charges of battery and animal cruelty. He was booked at the Lakae County Jail on $15,000 bond.

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