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Crime Man accused of releasing dog on police officers while drunk faces assault charges

20:10  11 february  2020
20:10  11 february  2020 Source:   northjersey.com

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A Florida man who released his dog on Ringwood and Wanaque police officers, which prompted the officers to shoot and kill the dog, was drunk at the time and faces multiple assault charges, authorities said.

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John Baker, 54, of Spring Lake, Florida was charged with five counts of aggravated assault on a police officer — one for each cop present at the time — after letting his dog off its chain despite multiple warnings from police during a Monday traffic stop, Police Chief Joseph Walker said.

Wanaque police attempted to stop the tractor-trailer when it was driving erratically on Ringwood Avenue, but Baker refused to stop, Walker said. Baker was nearly seven times the legal limit for a commercial vehicle driver, which is a blood-alcohol content of .04, Wanaque Police Capt. Angelo Calabro said.

a train covered in snow: Ringwood police shot and killed a dog after the owner let it loose after being ordered not to, police said.© Anthony Zurita/NorthJersey.com Ringwood police shot and killed a dog after the owner let it loose after being ordered not to, police said.

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Ringwood police responded and forced Baker to a stop on Greenwood Lake Turnpike. Walker said that Baker intended for the dog to attack the officers when he released him and the dog lunged at an officer.

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Once Baker unleashed the pit bull, two officers fired their guns — with one officer shooting once and the other shooting four or five times, Walker said. The first shot that hit the dog did not stop it, he said.

One of the officers was a former K-9 handler with the Passaic County Sheriff's Office, Walker said.

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"[The officers] were upset," Walker said. "They're animal lovers."

Wanaque police charged Baker with second-degree eluding police along with 11 driving offenses including driving while intoxicated, Calabro said. Ringwood police also charged Baker with several driving-related offenses including reckless driving and speeding, Walker said.

Baker was held at Passaic County Jail as of Tuesday, Calabro said.

Anthony Zurita is a breaking news reporter for NorthJersey.com. For unlimited access to all the major news happening in North Jersey, subscribe here. To get breaking news directly to your inbox, sign up for our newsletter.

Email: zuritaa@northjersey.com Twitter: @AnthonyRZurita

This article originally appeared on NorthJersey.com: Man accused of releasing dog on police officers while drunk faces assault charges

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