Crime Man accused of releasing dog on police officers while drunk faces assault charges
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A Florida man who, 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.
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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.
Gunman Facing Attempted Murder Charges After 2 NYPD Officers Shot In 12 Hours
Police say he was on a mission to kill. Fortunately, the officers are expected to be OK, but investigators say the bullets came very close to taking their lives. Surveillance video shows the suspect walk into the 41st Precinct station house just before 8 a.m. Sunday in Longwood. He fires multiple rounds at uniformed officers.“It was a premeditated effort to kill,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said. “Not just to kill other human beings, but to kill those that wear a uniform that represents all of us.
"[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, . To get breaking news directly to your inbox, .
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