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Bark At A Police Dog – Get Arrested.

Alligator_head-ROH Well, this is something you don’t see or hear often….

Florida Gators linebacker Antonio Morrison has been arrested for the second time in five weeks, this time for allegedly barking at a police dog and resisting arrest, and will miss at least the first two games of the season after being suspended from the team Sunday.

Yep.

You read that right.

Someone was arrested for barking at a dog.

Apparently an officer with a K-9 dog named “Bear” responded to a call dealing with a break-in of a car. While the officer was examining the car, Bear was still in the police car when Morrison and his friends walked past the police car.

According to Morrison, Bear barked at him and Morrison barked back.

The officer had to look away from the car he was examining to look at Morrison and Bear “communicating.” The officer then told Morrison to wait by the front of the vehicle.

When the officer talked to Morrison and attempted to put handcuffs on him, Morrison “resisted.”

To be honest with you, this seems a little ridiculous.

The Florida statute dealing with law enforcement animals is 843.19 which reads:

843.19 Offenses against police dogs, fire dogs, SAR dogs, or police horses.—

(1) As used in this section, the term:

(a) “Police dog” means any dog, and “police horse” means any horse, that is owned, or the service of which is employed, by a law enforcement agency for the principal purpose of aiding in the detection of criminal activity, enforcement of laws, or apprehension of offenders.
(b) “Fire dog” means any dog that is owned, or the service of which is employed, by a fire department, a special fire district, or the State Fire Marshal for the principal purpose of aiding in the detection of flammable materials or the investigation of fires.
(c) “SAR dog” means any search and rescue dog that is owned, or the service of which is utilized, by a fire department, a law enforcement agency, a special fire district, or the State Fire Marshal for the principal purpose of aiding in the detection of missing persons, including, but not limited to, persons who are lost, who are trapped under debris as the result of a natural, manmade, or technological disaster, or who are drowning victims.

(2) Any person who intentionally and knowingly, without lawful cause or justification, causes great bodily harm, permanent disability, or death to, or uses a deadly weapon upon, a police dog, fire dog, SAR dog, or police horse commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

(3) Any person who actually and intentionally maliciously touches, strikes, or causes bodily harm to a police dog, fire dog, SAR dog, or police horse commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

(4) Any person who intentionally or knowingly maliciously harasses, teases, interferes with, or attempts to interfere with a police dog, fire dog, SAR dog, or police horse while the animal is in the performance of its duties commits a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

(5) A person convicted of an offense under this section shall make restitution for injuries caused to the police dog, fire dog, SAR dog, or police horse and shall pay the replacement cost of the animal if, as a result of the offense, the animal can no longer perform its duties.

The only thing we can think that would apply in this situation is 813.19(4). The problem with that is the dog was not doing anything other than sitting in a car. We have a tough time seeing that as “performance of duties” anymore than saying something to a cop while they are eating at McDonalds is “harrassment.”

As it stands right now, we see this as an over-reach by the officer. Not only does there not seem to be any legal cause to tell Morrison to wait in front of the officer’s car, we don’t see any reason to detain Morrison, much less arrest him.

As this story goes viral, it will reflect badly on Morrison, who has to understand that as a player on a ranked football team, his actions are going to be scrutinized by the scool, the fans and the media.

It also doesn’t reflect well on the officer, who seems to have either made up a charge or not understand the law, and then got into a situation were he was more interested into creating “respect” for him and Bear, rather than realizing his actions will open himself up to scrutiny and ridicule – as well as other officers around the country.

We guess the lesson is “don’t bark at police dogs – even if they bark at you first. ”



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