Angry about Jehovah's Witness on beach, man lets dog chew on religious books

Owner of French bulldog named Butterbean arrested on misdemeanor charge

Edgar Wallis Jones faces a misdemeanor charge after an incident involving his dog and a Jehovah's Witness on a Florida Keys beach.

MARATHON, Fla. – A Florida Keys man faces a misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct after he got into an argument with a Jehovah's Witness about peddling his religious literature on government property and then let his dog chew on the reading material, according to the Monroe County Sheriff's Office.

Edgar Wallis Jones, 59, of Marathon, was walking his dog on Sombrero Beach earlier this month when he encountered a Jehovah's Witness who was standing by a pavilion with his religious literature cart.

The Jehovah's Witness claimed Jones told him he wasn't allowed on city or state property with religious literature, but the man told him he wasn't soliciting anyone, explaining that his literature was free, and that he has a permit.

Jones then threatened to take all the literature, grabbing the cart while his French bulldog began chewing on the paper, sheriff's spokesman Adam Linhardt said.

The Jehovah's Witness called 911 to report the incident and provided a description of the dog.

A deputy assigned to investigate questioned several people on the beach who had seen the man and his dog, later identified as Butterbean. When the deputy returned to the beach Feb. 11, he passed the same pavilion where the Jehovah's Witness had been standing, heard a dog bark and then saw Butterbean being held on a leash by a man, Linhardt said.

The man identified himself as Jones and admitted to speaking to a Jehovah's Witness about the legalities of his literature cart, but he denied taking it. Jones did admit that Butterbean had chewed on some of the books in the cart, Linhardt said.

A warrant for Jones' arrest was issued Feb. 20. He turned himself in Monday.

About the Author: