10/16/2007

Pa. K-9 taunter released after 9 days in jail

By Linda Wilson Fuoco
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

PITTSBURGH - Kenneth King, 23, of South Side, was expected to be released today from jail, where he has spent nine days on charges that he taunted and threatened a Pittsburgh police officer's K-9 dog.

His preliminary hearing in Municipal Court today was continued to Jan. 16. Defense Attorney James Ecker said his client's $100,000 bond was lowered to OR meaning he will be released on his own recognizance.

"He will attend anger management classes and when he returns to his hearing in January" the charges are expected to be withdrawn, Mr. Ecker said.

Mr. King was arrested Oct. 7 at the Sunoco gas station on Cedar Avenue, North Side, when a dog named Benny, who was in the back seat of a police vehicle, barked loudly at him.

Mr. King screamed at the dog, saying "shut the (expletive) up or I will shank you," according to the report filed by the dog's handler and partner, Officer Ron Absten. The report says Mr. King pulled a silver knife out of his pocket.

Under Pennsylvania law it is a felony to "willfully or maliciously taunt, torment, tease, beat, kick or strike a police animal."

Copyright 2007 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

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