Ezekiel Elliott's Father Faces 21 Charges Over Exotic Cat That Was Killed by Police

The father of Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott is facing 21 charges in connection with a serval wild cat found loose in Canal Winchester, Ohio, in October according to USA Today. Stacy Elliott — also known as Stacy El-Muhammad — was arrested Tuesday on charges filed by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, the Fairfield Area Humane Society and Fairfield County Dog Warden. The charges stem from an incident back on Oct. 13 when neighbors reported the serval attacking a dog. Police responded to the call and they shot and killed the serval.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources identified the cat as a serval, which is a species of a wild cat originally from Africa. Ohio Department of Agriculture and Fairfield County sheriff’s office investigators searched El-Muhammad's home a few days later. El-Muhammad told investigators that he was keeping the serval but he wasn't the owner. It was determined that the serval was sold to El-Muhammad and he did not have the permit required to own a wild animal.

The 21 charges filed against El-Muhammad include failure to notify of dangerous wild animal escape, falsification, obstruction of official business, allowing dangerous wild animal to escape and failure to notify law enforcement of dangerous wild animal escape. With El-Muhammad not having the permit, which is required in the state of Ohio and also allowing the serval to escape, he could face six months in prison.

El-Muhammad is the CEO of Fifth Down Enterprises which is a sports management agency. He previously worked as an aide to former Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer from 2015 to 2017. Elliott attended Ohio State from 2013 to 2015 and he helped the team win the national championship in 2014.

From there, Elliott would join the Dallas Cowboys as he was drafted by the team in the first round in 2016. In his four seasons in the NFL, Elliott has emerged as one of the top players in the league rushing for at least 1,100 yards in three seasons. In 14 games this year, Elliott has rushed for 1,188 yards and 11 touchdowns. He has made the Pro Bowl three times and he was named to the All-Pro Team in 2016 and 2018. He led the NFL in rushing in 2016 and 2018.