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You have the woof to remain silent: Ohio man arrested for taunting police dog

Published time: January 11, 2013 19:40
Edited time: January 11, 2013 23:40
Reuters/Swoan Parker

Reuters/Swoan Parker

An Ohio man is asking law enforcement in Montgomery County to throw him a bone after he was arrested for barking at a police dog.

An Ohio man is asking law enforcement in Montgomery County to throw him a bone after he was arrested for barking at a police dog.

Cameron Dunn, 22, was placed in the back of a police cruiser earlier this week when a routine traffic stop caused cops to suspect that he was in possession of marijuana. By the end of the night, Dunn was looking at an entirely different type of criminal charge.

While detained in the backseat of a patrol car, Dunn noticed that the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office had called in a drug-sniffing dog, a K9 named Gunner, to give the suspect’s vehicle a quick once-over. Before Gunner could get around to finding any contraband, though, Dunn dared to try and taunt the dog.

“As Gunner walked past the cruiser Dunn began barking at the dog and hitting the window of the cruiser,” reports the Dayton Daily News, which broke the story on Tuesday.

The paper reports that an agitated Gunner tried to move towards the car where Dunn was detained, by a deputy held him back and brought him to the suspect’s vehicle. There the dog helped locate an undetermined amount of marijuana seeds on the floorboards of the car, which is illegal to have in most circumstances in nearly all jurisdictions in the US.

According to the paper, drug possession charges weren’t filed against Dunn, though. Instead he was lobbed with a misdemeanor charge of assaulting or harassing a police dog. Under Ohio State law, no person shall recklessly taunt, torment or strike a police dog or horse, or inhibit or restrict the human cop’s control of man’s best friend. The crime carries a misdemeanor charge of the second degree, which could land Dunn a jail sentence of up to three months.

Public records made available by the county confirm that Dunn was indeed arrested on Jan. 7, but no information on the charges has been published online. One month earlier, however, he was arrested for domestic violence.

Had Dunn’s taunting caused physical harm to the dog, state law mandates that he covers the cost of any applicable veterinary bills. Possessing less than 100 grams of cannabis is a minor misdemeanor, which is punishable by a $100 fine and no jail time. Neither the Dayton Daily nor available police records can verify at this time that he was charged for the pot seeds.

Last year, 25-year-old Ryan Stephens of a Cincinnati, OH suburb was charged with barking at a police dog. When asked to explain himself, a reportedly intoxicated Stephens told the cops, “The dog started it.”

Next time, Dunn just might want to give Gunner the bird.

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