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Ezekiel Elliott's Dad Stacy Facing 21 Charges over Improperly Keeping Exotic Cat

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistDecember 17, 2019

COLUMBUS, OH - AUGUST 6:  Stacy Elliott, father of former Ohio State Buckeyes running back Ezekiel Elliott, speaks at a rally in support of Ohio State head football coach Urban Meyer at Ohio State University on August 6, 2018 in Columbus, Ohio. Meyer is on paid administrative leave after a reports alleging he knew of a 2015 allegation of domestic violence against former assistant football coach Zach Smith, who was fired in July.  (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

Stacy El-Muhammad, the father of Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott, faces 21 charges stemming from improperly keeping a serval, a wild cat native to Africa. 

Per Sheridan Hendrix of the Columbus Dispatch, the Ohio Department of Agriculture has already filed nine charges against El-Muhammad stemming from an Oct. 13 incident when neighbors near his home reported the serval was attacking a dog. 

Eight of the nine charges El-Muhammad currently faces are first-degree misdemeanors. The other charge of intentionally releasing an exotic animal and allowing it to escape is a fifth-degree felony.

He also faces 12 other charges from various agencies involved in the case, including the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, the Fairfield Area Humane Society, Fairfield County Dog Warden and Fairfield County sheriff's office.

Hendrix noted investigators used a microchip in the serval to determine El-Muhammad, who previously told them he wasn't the owner, that the cat had been sold to him. 

The serval was shot and killed by the Fairfield County sheriff's office when they responded to a call about the attack. 

El-Muhammad worked at Ohio State under former head football coach Urban Meyer from 2015-17. His first year at the school was Ezekiel's final season with the Buckeyes before he declared for the NFL draft.