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Man accused of choking mother, her dog during argument at SE Houston apartment

HOUSTON – A 33-year-old man is accused of assaulting his mother and abusing her dog during an argument at a southeast Houston apartment, according to court documents.

Court records indicate Matthew Emmett Peterson choked and abused his mother and her dog, Gizmo, at an apartment in the 8300 block of Park Place Boulevard.

Peterson has two prior convictions for assaulting family members, according to court documents.

On March 19, Peterson's mother confronted him about a drug-related smell emanating from his apartment. She was concerned about the smell because her toddler grandchildren live in the apartment, according to court records.

Peterson told his mother the smell was not her business and became agitated, court records indicate.

Peterson's mother backed into a bedroom, but Peterson was easily able to remove the door and shove it into her face, striking the bridge of her nose, court records indicate. He then began yelling at her and striking her with his fists, according to court documents.

Peterson told his wife, who witnessed the attack, to get duct tape to restrain his mother, according to court records. Peterson's mother was able to "scratch and claw" in order to avoid being restrained, but Peterson grabbed her in a chokehold and beat her over the head with his hands, court documents indicate.

Peterson's mother was able to escape his grasp and get into a closet to call police, according to court documents.

During the fight, Peterson grabbed Gizmo and "lifted it up off the ground by its neck while he squeezed its throat with his hands," according to court documents. Peterson's mother said she watched her son strangle the dog until it was unable to make a sound. She told police that her dog's eyes were bulging and she smelled feces in the air as if the dog was releasing gas due to the defendant's actions, according to court records.

Peterson's mother was able to scratch her son until her released the dog and she was able to leave the apartment after calling her daughter to come get her, according to authorities.

Gizmo did not require medical attention, but authorities said the animal "was tortured and experienced unjustifiable pain and suffering" based on Peterson's actions.