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Ray-Ray Armstrong is a third-year linebacker for the Oakland Raiders. Ray-Ray is not a regular reader of our blogs. If he were, he'd know you can't go around barking at police dogs.
Instead, while coming onto the field in Pittsburgh on Sunday to play the Steelers, Ray-Ray lifted his shirt, pounded his chest, barked at the dog and allegedly told the K9's handler to "send the dog." Ray-Ray now finds himself under investigation for a felony.
Allegheny County Sheriff's Deputy Kevin Kraus told ESPN, "The dog was going crazy ... [t]he deputy was trying to control the dog the best she could." Kraus also notified the Steelers, the Raiders, and the NFL that his office is now investigating Armstrong and he may have video surveillance of the incident.
According to Pennsylvania's criminal statutes, barking at a police dog is a felony. Section 5511.2 makes it "unlawful for any person to willfully or maliciously taunt, torment, tease, beat, kick or strike a police animal." If charged and convicted, Armstrong could be looking at 7 years in jail. It's unlikely he'll get such a lengthy sentence, but it does demonstrate how protective police are of their K-9 companions.
Sadly for Ray-Ray, he won't be able to use the "barking at police dogs is protected free speech" argument. While you may be able to curse and flip off the cops, the First Amendment doesn't extend to taunting police animals.
But Ray-Ray is lucky he only taunted Bandit. You don't want to be the guy that bites a police dog, as one man found out a couple years ago. Pennsylvania's police animal statute also allows for restitution for any vet bills if the police dog is injured. The moral of the story is that football players should avoid dogs on the sidelines, especially UGA.
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