MARATHON, Fla. -

A Marathon man was arrested early Friday, charged with threatening to rape and kill a woman after she found him choking her dog.

The woman told an officer that she was sleeping in the produce stand in the parking lot of the Fairway Market on 39th Street at 1 a.m. when she woke up and saw 49-year-old Albert Gardner choking her dog, police said.

The woman tried to help her dog, but Gardner hit her in the face, police said. He then threatened to rape and kill her. 

The woman said he started choking her dog again and she ran away, police said. A passer-by then saw the woman running from Gardner.

Police found Gardner on Louisa Street, where he was arrested. He was charged with assault, battery and animal cruelty. 

Paramedics treated the woman. The dog was found hiding underneath a card at the produce stand and appeared to be uninjured. He and his owner were reunited, police said.