Man bites dog? Well, not exactly.
As the dog days of summer began, a 26-year-old Michigan man was collared on Monday evening, August 3rd, for barking at a Three Rivers, Michigan, police canine.
The K-9 patrol dog, named Anija, was sitting inside a Three Rivers police squad car, parked outside an apartment complex, when the man approached it. According to Three Rivers police sources, the growling grownup began tormenting the dog through the car window.
Anija, the highly trained canine became agitated and aggressive, as a result.
Three Rivers police officers, who were investigating potentially criminal activity within the multi-family dwelling, arrested the bellowing brayer on the spot for pestering the police pooch and charging the man with disorderly conduct. Although the mischief-making man was later unleashed on bond, he still awaits a court hearing to face the charges.
Led by Thomas J. Bringman, chief of police, the Three Rivers police force employs 15 officers, several other staffers and a group of highly trained K-9 patrol dogs. The dogs are used primarily to track criminal suspects and to sniff out the presence of illegal narcotics and other street drugs.
Three Rivers, Michigan, is located about an hour’s drive northeast of South Bend, Indiana.
Will the gnarly charges be upheld in court?
The local district attorney’s office will be expected to address the situation legally in Michigan’s St. Joseph County court system. Authorities are likely to hound the alleged perpetrator, as the police force may have a bone to pick with the man, who may or may not have strayed beyond the law.
In the very least, the man-barker may incur some husky legal fees. Perhaps this case warrants a second peke.
Is barking a Constitutional right?
Are Americans allowed to bark at dogs? Does the First Amendment right to free speech grant permission to growl, even at police canines?
The idea is enough to give one paws.
The Three Rivers, Michigan, man-barking case is not the first of its kind. In September 2001, a 21-year-old Ohio man was arrested for barking back at an Athens, Ohio, police dog. Jeremy Gilchrist was detained after responding vocally to the growling of Pepsie, the K-9 patrol dog. At the time, Pepsie was sitting inside a police cruiser in the southeast Ohio community. Apparently, Gilchrist began barking at the police dog, although he remained some 30 feet from the police car.
After nearly two years, in March 2003, the Fourth Ohio District of Appeals dismissed all charges against the barking man. Ohio state law prohibits the harassing of police dogs and horses. However, in the final ruling, the court determined that Gilchrist was merely exercising his First Amendment rights to free speech.
Of course, the Ohio dog barked first.
And, all the man did was bark at the K-9 patrol dog. He certainly didn’t whippet.