LANCASTER, Ohio (WJW)-- The father of former Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott appeared in Fairfield County Municipal Court on Wednesday.
Stacy El-Muhammad, or Stacy Elliott, is charged with 21 counts related to the death of a serval cat and other animal offenses. He pleaded not guilty.
Investigators said his serval cat, which is a wild animal native to Africa, escaped his property in Canal Winchester and attacked a family's dog on Oct. 13. The Fairfield County Sheriff's Office and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources responded to the neighborhood, where deputies shot and killed the cat when it appeared ready to pounce.
According to court documents, Stacy Elliott denied owning the cat. A search of his property revealed more unregistered animals and evidence of cruelty.
Ezekiel Elliott played for the Buckeyes from 2013 to 2015. He was selected by the Dallas Cowboys with the fourth overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft.