Waco teen accused of animal abuse

Local

A Waco teen claims he is the target of online bullying by adults.

This started after an online pet exchange.

A local woman says after seeing a similar complaint about 16-year-old Akeylon Benson regarding a pet adoption, she too posted a complaint. That post has since been removed.

“This is the first time this has transpired,” Benson said.

Benson is a junior at Midway High School who loves animals and wanted to adopt another dog to take care of. He wants to be a veterinarian one day.

“I am a dog lover,” Benson said.

He contacted Kristen Bohannon, who was giving away her boxer-mix Apollo. But after a few days, he says the dog escaped – causing damage to his fence. 

“Here at the bottom of my gate. He broke my latches off my gate here,” Benson said.

Bohannon says his story was inconsistent, and after seeing a similar complaint on Facebook about Akeylon specifically, she decided to post her own.

She emailed FOX44 news the following statements:

“I think Apollo was afraid of him and tried to escape. When Akeylon told me he was missing, he never mentioned any damage. Not until all this happened,” Bohannon said.

The post set off a fire storm of comments. Adults from all over the country are accusing Akeylon of killing dogs, along with other false accusations.

“They are accusing me of killing the dog. Eating the dog. I have a dog of my own in my house. I am not the type of person who eats dogs or kill dogs or anything like that,” Benson said.

Bohannon says she doesn’t think he mistreated Apollo. She also says the comments were unnecessary, but thinks Akeylon’s constant inquiries about adopting dogs is troubling. 

“I’m hoping he will get help. I’m hoping no one will give him anymore animals,” Bohannon said.

Akeylon thinks the whole thing is a misunderstanding. Friends and family say he would never do such a thing and want the negative comments to stop.

“I will not, again, I will not adopt another dog from this site. I feel so offended that I wont even feel right adopting a dog from the Humane Society,” Benson says.

The dog has been found and is also okay.

Hewitt Police also say this is a form of online bullying from adults and people need to go to the proper authorities instead of social media.

The administrator for the Facebook page PAW or Pet Answers Waco commented about the post. She said in part:

“Stalking or harassing private citizens on unfounded charges is not acceptable and can get you in trouble. if you have information about these questionable activities please notify the proper authorities.”

Update: Based on the allegations sent in about Akeylon we have called several shelters and a former employee. Both say they haven’t received any word or seen any evidence while working with him that he was banned for abuse or mistreatment of animals. Per the Director of the Waco Human Society, he was only prohibited from being in the Humane Society grounds, because he kept showing up to volunteer but was under age and couldn’t provide parental proof to allow him to volunteer. We were told he would stand out front and ask for rides, and money but that’s the extent of him being prohibited from being there. 

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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