An argument over whether a dog defecated on a lawn became physical when the suspect pulled the 68-year-old victim to the ground and choked him, authorities said.
The victim was walking his dog in the 2000 block of Scott Avenue, near Carver Road and Briggsmore Avenue, when he walked by a home where James Swicegood, 51, of Modesto was doing yard work for a family member, said Modesto Police Department spokeswoman Heather Graves.
She said Swicegood confronted the victim about whether his dog defecated on the lawn on a previous occasion, prompting an argument between the two.
The victim left, dropped his dog off at his house and returned to confront Swicegood.
They began arguing again, and Swicegood grabbed the victim by the arm, pulled him to the ground and began choking him, Graves said.
Swicegood stopped and the victim went home and called police. Graves said he had injuries consistent with the assault he described.
Swicegood was arrested on suspicion of elder abuse, assault and battery. He was released from Stanislaus County Jail on bail early Wednesday.