By Jeff Long
The Chicago Tribune
MCHENRY COUNTY, Ill. — Todd Venlue says it would be a serious mistake to tease a police dog by barking at it and then get in a fight with its handler.
"Is anybody stupid enough to take a swing at a police officer who has a trained K-9 at his hand?" Venlue said Wednesday.
Authorities in McHenry County say Venlue did just that Saturday night during an Oktoberfest celebration, said Harvard Police Chief Dan Kazy-Garey.
"He was teasing the dog," Kazy-Garey said.
Venlue, 36, of Belvidere is charged with teasing a police dog, aggravated battery and resisting a peace officer, Kazy-Garey said.
Emil J. Odling, 29, of Harvard, who tried to intervene, also was charged with resisting arrest and aggravated battery, police said.
Venlue said he had just finished a set with his band, Gypsy Moon, when he went into a beer garden. He was accused of barking at Hunter, a German shepherd police dog. "There was a guy standing behind me that started barking," Venlue said. The police officer "is looking at me and said, 'Don't be barking at my dog, or there's going to be repercussions.'"
Venlue said he cursed, and the officer reacted.
"He told me it's time to leave," Venlue said. "He runs his chest into my hands and says, 'you shouldn't have done that.'"
The police chief would not go into details of the arrest.
"If I was attacking him, why wouldn't the K-9 come after me?" he said. "The dog was just sitting there."
Neither the dog nor the officer were injured, Kazy-Garey said.
Venlue has a court appearance scheduled for 9 a.m. Tuesday.
Copyright 2007 Chicago Tribune
Ill. man arrested for teasing K-9