Fire chief sues owners of dog he hit with rock
Glynn Johnson, 54, says the dog bit him, scarring and damaging his thumb, as he tried to return it to its house, according to an Associated Press report.
Johnson pleaded not guilty to the animal cruelty charge, a felony, filed by prosecutors after his Nov. 3 clash with Karley, a 6-month-old German shepherd mix that was euthanized due to its injuries.
His lawsuit, filed Wednesday in Riverside County Superior Court, claims negligence and intentional infliction of emotional distress and seeks unspecified damages from the owners.
According to Johnson’s attorney, John E. Sweeney, the dog had gotten loose and was on Johnson’s property when the fire official took it by the collar and started walking it back to the home of its owners, Jeff and Shelley Toole.
“When the dog saw he was being led back to his own house, he started thrashing about,” Sweeney said. “He got Glynn Johnson’s thumb in his mouth and nearly tore the tip off.”
Sweeney said Johnson picked up a rock and hit the dog.
“He only hit him twice, as soon as the dog was hit a couple of times, he let go and ran away,” Sweeney said.
Sweeney said his client’s thumb was scarred and appeared to have permanent nerve damage.
Johnson, a 31-year veteran of the Los Angeles County Fire Department, was placed on administrative leave after the charges were filed. He decided to retire last month, in part because of the case, Sweeney said.
“His life has been turned upside down,” Sweeney said. “This was a man ready to retire with dignity … and he goes out the back door of the Fire Department because of these allegations.”
Johnson faces four years in prison if convicted.
(Photo from justice4karley.com)
Posted by jwoestendiek February 13th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: beat, beaten, bite, california, courts, dog, dog bite, euthanized, fire chief, german shepherd, glynn johnson, hit, jeff toole, justice, karley, law, lawsuit, legal, los angeles, riverside county, rock, shelley toole, song