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Stabbed Connecticut Police Dog To Return to Duty

It seems there will be no summer off for Czar, the Norwalk, Connecticut police dog stabbed through the tongue Saturday while defending his handler, Officer Frank Reda. Czar helped subdue an attacker who charged at Reda while holding two knives

Sgt. Andre Velez, who is in contact with Reda, had expressed concern Monday that the dog might have a cracked tooth. He thought the tooth might have to be removed as an abscess would result. Police were having difficulty tracking down a veterinary dentist, but Tuesday morning word came that the tooth is fine.

Reda had taken the dog out for ice cream, Velez said. The Belgian Malinois has stitches on his tongue and cuts on his gums. Velez said both Reda and Czar are tough, after getting a text from Reda that read: “No fracture of tooth, tough, ready to work, no summer off for him.”

Police say Jose “Danny” Salamayor-Roma, 22, and three other men were wielding steak knives Saturday afternoon. When Salamayor-Roma charged at Reda, Czar grabbed him in the stomach. When Salamayor-Roma cut the dog around the mouth, Czar let go and grabbed him in the groin and did not let go, despite being kicked and punched.

Salamyor-Roma was charged with animal cruelty for injuring Czar, in addition to breach of peace, interfering with an officer, conspiracy, criminal attempt, assault and carrying a dangerous weapon. He is being held on $250,000 bond.

Chief Harry Rilling said in an email Tuesday afternoon that the charge of animal cruelty, the highest allowed under Connecticut law, is inadequate. “Since the Police Service Dog (PSD) is acting as ‘an agent of the department’ and under the direction of a police officer, the charges should be more serious than cruelty to animals,” he said. “The dog is highly trained and only acts under the most extreme circumstances. PSDs are trained and deployed to protect police officers and other members of the public. Therefore, attacking them should be a felony.”

An East Norwalk Connecticut hairdresser had the same reaction when she heard about Czar’s injuries.

“When an animal is involved they should tack on another 10 years for hurting it,” said Virginia Kunkel, adding that the dog wasn’t only protecting a police officer it was getting a dangerous criminal off the street.

“Dogs run faster than humans and can sometimes apprehend suspects that would get away,“ she said, adding, “I’m not saying it’s better than a human’s life, but if a criminal is going to attack a police dog and hurt it they should have repercussions over it. It would be a crime if they hurt a police officer, they would get in trouble.”

Story by Elaine Furst for Dog Files

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Westiechick2
Westiechick2
11 years ago

WHAT WOULD WE DO WITHOUT DOGS ,UPGRATE TO FELONY  !

timeline2
timeline2
11 years ago
Reply to  Westiechick2

I totally agree…it is a felony to attack a human Police officer and the Police Dog should also be certified as a Police officer and the criminal should be charged the same as if he had attacked the human Police officer.  They are highly trained dogs and only arrack on command by their handler so therefore, it should be a felony to attack one of the dogs.

Naomi Grayda
Naomi Grayda
11 years ago

As far as I’m concerned, Czar was hurt while on duty. That should make him first, a member of law enforcement and the charges should be the same as if it was the police officer that was stabbed. If we use dogs in this capacity, they should have similar protection under the law.

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