The Dania Beach man accused of trying to hire a hitman to kill family members including his wife and young child faces a new charge after he beat his dog numerous times, authorities said Thursday.
Jason D. Simione, 39, is charged with felony cruelty to an animal for beating the 4-year-old Cane Corso dog that he and his wife Megumi Simione own, the Broward Sheriff’s Office said in a complaint affidavit released Thursday.
On one occasion, Simione repeatedly punched the dog in the face, giving it bloodshot eyes, according to the affidavit.
"He just took out his aggression on the dog. He was seen once beating it with a stick. The dog had bloodshot eyes, allegedly from these beatings, and this was a regular occurrence," BSO spokeswoman Dani Moschella said.
Megumi Simione said that after the dog was beaten, it cried continuously for several days. She also testified that her husband wouldn’t allow her to seek medical treatment for the animal, the affidavit said.
Simione was arrested Monday on three counts of solicitation to commit first-degree murder, one count of threatening to throw, place or discharge a destructive device and one count of child abuse. Broward Sheriff’s Office Det. Ricky Libman said Tuesday that authorities believe that Simione “inquired to have a person come up from El Salvador, specifically a MS-13 gang member, and offered to pay up to $150,000 to dispose of his wife, mother-in-law and brother-in-law, and child, if he did not receive custody of the child.”
Simione owns Bulldog Tactical Equipment in Fort Lauderdale. He is also accused of stockpiling guns and bomb-making materials and repeatedly threatening the life of President Barack Obama. The BSO said 60,000-70,000 rounds of ammunition and 68 rifles, shotguns and handguns were found in Simione’s house. The guns were legally owned but taken for safekeeping because of a protection order recently obtained by his wife, the BSO said.
After he was read his Miranda rights Monday, Simione “did admit to beating the dog and stated he did so to protect a second smaller dog,” the affidavit said.
The dog was taken to Broward’s animal care agency and then released back to Megumi Simione, the affidavit said. She in turn surrendered the dog to a rescue, Moschella said.
Simione's attorney, David Bogenschutz, could not immediately be reached for comment.
Simione is being held on $5,002,500 bond, including $2,500 for the new charge, online jail records said.
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