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4507 W. Ballast Point Blvd
On January 16, 2015, at approximately 10:15 am, HCSO agriculture detectives were called to 2905 S. Frontage Road in Plant City to check on the welfare of a Water Buffalo calf that was tied to closely to a fence post and appeared to be in distress.
When detectives arrived, they found the calf unattended and his head tied just inches to a fence post. Further examination by detectives revealed the calf had an injury to one of his eyes from what appeared to be from the rope rubbing the eye as the calf tried to free it's self.
The detectives cut the rope freeing the calf and discovered a second rope embedded in the muscle tissue of the calf's neck. The calf was seized and provided medical care from a large animal veterinarian.
Detectives continued their investigation and learned that sometime during the month of October 2014, Antonio Casmento tied a lead rope around the neck of the young Water Buffalo and neglected to properly adjust the rope as the calf grew larger.
As a result, the rope tightened around the calf's neck and became embedded in the muscle tissue creating and open wound thus causing unnecessary pain and suffering.
Detectives were on site finishing up their investigation including inspecting the other livestock when Casmento returned to the property and was immediately arrested.
Detectives found no other issues with the other livestock on property.
The calf appears to be about 6-7 months old and is currently recuperating and being cared for by Agriculture detectives while under the supervision of the veterinarian.
The calf will not be available for media viewing until at least Tuesday or Wednesday next week so that it can continue to recuperate without any additional stress. The calf is expected to make a full recovery.
The investigation continues.