Thursday, September 6, 2007

Officer accused of leaving police dog in hot car

Report: Cop ran errands, napped as canine died in 109-degree day

PHOENIX - A suburban police officer is accused of leaving a police dog in a patrol car for more than 12 hours on a 109-degree day, killing the animal.

Chandler police Sgt. Tom Lovejoy was booked into the Maricopa County jail on a misdemeanor charge of animal cruelty after a two-week investigation into the death of a 5-year-old Belgian Malinois named Bandit. He was released later Wednesday, said Capt. Paul Chagolla, a spokesman for the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office.

The sheriff’s investigation showed Bandit was in Lovejoy’s patrol car from about 9 a.m. to shortly after 10 p.m. Aug. 11. During that time, the investigation found, the officer ran errands, napped and ate out with his wife. Lovejoy later found the dog dead in the car.

“I am certain Sgt. Lovejoy has suffered greatly from leaving his police dog in a sweltering car,” Sheriff Joe Arpaio said in a statement. “I do not relish the idea of compounding his sadness. However, Lovejoy must be treated like anyone else in similar circumstances.”

Lovejoy said Wednesday night that he is scheduled to appear in court Sept. 25 and that his lawyer advised him not to comment further.

“With the sheriff railing on me right now, it’s kind of hard to say anything,” Lovejoy said.

Chandler Police Chief Sherry Kiyler said in a statement that the department respects and supports the criminal justice system and its processes, and that an internal investigation has been launched.

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jan said...

I couldn't believe this story when I read it. He not only killed a fellow officer, but he destroyed a valuable property of the police department and taxpayers. He should never be in law enforcement again.

Anonymous said...

This is a disgusting and disturbing story. I would hope that when they choose officers for any K-9 unit that they make sure these people are responsible - not only as cops, but as animal caretakers. This dog was special in that he was not only this officer's partner, but meant to be a part of his family. The fact that he left the poor thing in his car for 12 hours is not just gross negligence, it's murder. How could he possibly think that would be ok? This guy should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and he should never be a police officer again.

Anonymous said...

UNFORGIVABLE!!! He should be charged with the murder of a police officer. Police dogs are considered cops, just like any other officer. If a criminal shoots a police dog, he is charged with a higher crime than animal abuse because those dogs are special.

That poor dog was tortured for 12 hours by a fellow officer and the statement from the station was about how bad the cop must feel?! What about what that dog felt for 12 hours, just wondering why his owner was allowing him to cook alive. Imagine how that dog felt in a car that probably exceed 130 degrees. He should never be allowed to be a cop again. His career is over!

Just another dumbass cop committing another crime. For every rat you see, there are 50 you don't.

Someone needs to make sure this story makes national headlines.

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