Man charged with assaulting police dog in Puyallup

Staff writerMarch 11, 2014 

Pierce County prosecutors have charged a suspected car thief with assaulting a police dog during his arrest in Puyallup.

Joseph Chesley, 29, is charged with harming a police dog, theft of a motor vehicle and possessing motor vehicle theft tools. He was ordered jailed in lieu of $50,000 bail.

The incident started early Monday after a man heard his car being stolen from outside his home in the 700 block of Ninth Avenue Southeast. A responding officer spotted the vehicle and tried to follow it but the driver got away while the officer tried to turn around.

Police eventually found the car at the end of a cul de sac in the Forest Green neighborhood. It was still running with the driver’s door open and the windshield wipers on. The suspect had fled on foot.

A Pierce County sheriff’s dog named Cramer was brought in to track the suspect. The dog led police to a yard where Chesley was hiding in brush.

Kramer latched onto Chesley’s arm and began dragging him out when Chesley punched the dog in the head three times, according to charging papers. He is also accused of kicking the dog.

It took law enforcement 1 ½ minutes of struggling with Chesley to get him under control and arrest him.

Cramer did not sustain major injuries, court records indicate.

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