A Bellmead man who ran from police after he allegedly sexually assaulted a neighbor's dog was arrested early Saturday morning on a charge of bestiality, Bellmead police Lt. Kory Martin said.

Philip Samuel Mercon, 27, was arrested after police were called to 2000 block of Montrose Street shortly before 1:30 a.m. A witness told officers they saw Mercon sexually abusing a dog in the neighbor's backyard, Martin said.

Police found Mercon in the backyard with the dog and let go of the dog when he saw police, Martin said. Mercon then tried to run from officers, but one officer was able to capture Mercon without incident.

The dog, a medium-sized, mixed breed male dog, was given back to its owner in order to provide any care the dog required, Martin said. He said there are no current reports of any injury to the animal.

Martin said Mercon was reportedly on the neighbor's property when the incident occurred and he was not authorized to be in the yard, behind the fencing.

In September 2017, Gov. Greg Abbott signed into law that makes it illegal for residents of Texas to have sex with animals. If convicted, an offender may receive a sentence of up to two years in jail for a felony conviction.

Mercon was arrested on a state jail felony charge of bestiality and two Class A misdemeanor charges of evading arrest on foot and criminal trespassing. He was booked into McLennan County Jail and was later released Sunday after posting a bond listed $8,000.

Kristin Hoppa has been covering public safety and breaking news for the Tribune-Herald since January 2016. She worked in Northwest Missouri covering crime-related issues before her move to Central Texas. She is a University of Kansas graduate.

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