A man used his dog as a weapon against police officers outside a bar on the Oregon coast, according to the Newport Police Department, leading officers to use a Taser on the dog.
Officers responded to a report of a man and his dog acting aggressively toward customers at the Bier One Pub on the 400 block of Southwest Coast Highway at 11:40 p.m. Wednesday.
Officers arrived and made contact with Robert Garland Hartsock, 24, of Newport. He was sitting outside the business, but still on the property in the entryway, with his medium-sized pit bull.
Officers asked Hartsock to move away from the business. As he started to walk away, investigators said he began to incite his dog into acting aggressively and then provided slack on the dog's leash, allowing the dog to bite at one of the officers.
Police said Hartsock made claims that the officers were targeting him because he had a pit bull, but the officers replied he was being asked to leave the bar at the request of the owner.
Hartsock told officers he was going to turn his dog loose on them, according to police, and was warned that a Taser would be used on the dog if Hartsock used his dog as a weapon.
Police said Hartsock was yelling and arguing with officers when he suddenly provided slack on the leash allowing the dog to lunge at an officer.
The dog's mouth was open with teeth showing and appeared to be acting as a trained attack dog, according to investigators.
A Taser was used on the dog, which stopped the attack. The dog then ran away.
Hartsock was taken into custody, but police said he continued to actively resist. He was booked into the Lincoln County Jail, where police said he was combative with officers and jail staff, on charges of assault on a public safety officer, resisting arrest, menacing and attempted assault. His bail was set at $165,000.
Officers were unable to locate the pit bull. It is described as brown in color with no collar. Anyone who sees it is asked to contact authorities or call the non-emergency dispatch line at 541-265-4231. The dog is described as very aggressive and should not be approached, according to police.
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