Deputies: Man arrested after beating neighbor, siccing dogs on him

Published: Thursday, February 27, 2014 at 11:14 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, February 27, 2014 at 11:14 a.m.

Deputies arrested a Gainesville man Wednesday morning on accusations he beat his neighbor and later made his two dogs attack the same neighbor because he said his wife was having an affair with him.

Christian Bernston
Christian Bernston

Christian Berntson, 44, who lives in the 8500 block of Northeast 75th Lane, accused his wife at around 9:40 p.m. Tuesday of having an affair with their neighbor, the Alachua County Sheriff's Office reported. During the argument, Berntson pushed his wife into the bedroom wall and grabbed her by the upper left arm, the report said.

Deputies said that after the argument, Berntson punched a wall and left the house. Berntson's wife said she saw her husband walk across the street and start arguing with their neighbor, who was outside of his home.

A witness told deputies Berntson yelled obscenities at his neighbor and tried to get him to fight, but the neighbor told Berntson he would not fight him. The neighbor said he told Berntson he could hit him if he wanted to, so Berntson struck his neighbor with an open right hand to his face, the report said.

The neighbor then placed Berntson in a chokehold as they both fell to the ground and continued punching each other. After they stopped fighting, the witness said Berntson let his bulldog and labrador-pitbull mixed dog out of his yard and told them, "Get him," the report said.

The dogs bit the neighbor multiple times on his arm as the man attempted to get the dogs off him and flee. The neighbor said one of the dogs jumped on his back and bit him on his head and face, leaving various cuts, the report said.

When deputies arrived, they found a large, raised bump on the back of the victim's head that was bleeding profusely. Both Berntson and his neighbor refused medical treatment by paramedics, the report said.

Berntson was arrested Wednesday at 1:11 a.m. on a misdemeanor charge of battery and a felony charge of aggravated battery, according to the report. He was being held Thursday at the Alachua County jail in lieu of $5,000 bond.

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