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Ohio Man Charged with Barking at Police K9

By Stephanie Rabiner, Esq. on April 11, 2011 10:10 AM

If you're not exactly sure what would possess a man to bark at a police dog, Ryan Stephens has an answer for you:

The dog started it.

Unfortunately for Mr. Stephens, that answer wasn't good enough. He was cited for a misdemeanor after barking at Timber the police dog.

Officer Bradley Walker was investigating a car crash near a Mason, Ohio pub early in the morning when Timber the police dog began barking in the back of the cruiser.

He found Ryan Stephens barking and hissing at the confined Timber, reports

When Officer Walker asked Stephens why he was barking at Timber, WLWT reports that Stephens told the officer that the dog had started it and that Timber was actually harassing him.

In many cities across the country, Timber the police dog and his fellow K-9's are considered to be full-fledged officers. This means that they are protected by the laws that prohibit certain conduct towards human law enforcement, including assault and harassment.

Oftentimes, there are also specific statutes that protect police dogs from behavior that puts them in danger.

It's important to note that the Mason, Ohio police department, like most departments across the country, take the care of their dogs very seriously. Harassing a police dog--especially when confined--can cause the dog to injure itself in an attempt to break free.

And if they do break free? Well, let's just say that Ryan Stephens is very lucky Timber the police dog won't be exacting his punishment.

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