Most people understand that when they come across a police dog on the job — for example, out in the public, under the care of a handler — they are not to shout “Hey, dog,” raise their shirt, pound their chest, and then proceed to bark at, taunt, and generally agitate the dog.
Oakland Raiders player Ray-Ray Armstrong didn’t know this. Therefore he is under police investigation for doing all those things to a police dog before a football game last weekend. Ray-Ray Armstrong is a bonehead.
It all started before last Sunday’s NFL game, when Ray-Ray, for reasons known only to Ray-Ray, decided to go nuts on a police dog when he was exiting the locker room for his game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Instead of simply running out onto the Heinz field in Pittsburgh, he paused before he got to the tunnel and was “aggressive and confrontational” toward the dog, said Allegheny County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Kevin Kraus — barking, taunting, pounding, yelling, and generally being horrible to Bandit, who was patrolling the stadium for explosives with his handler, according to WTAE.com.
“Bandit was very agitated. He wanted me to let him go,” said the dog’s handler, Police Deputy Maria Watts, according to the BBC. “I imagine with his training and experience, he would have gone to his target, who was taunting him. I don’t want to speculate on what he would have done. No one in the department, from the sheriff down, is happy about this.”
And they aren’t, not by a long shot. “The dog was going crazy,” Deputy Kraus said. “The deputy was trying to control the dog the best she could. We were immediately notified about the incident, and we immediately initiated a criminal investigation into the matter.”
Taunting a police K-9 carries a third-degree felony charge in Pennsylvania. As bad press from the incident piles up, Ray-Ray has been sticking to a “no comment” line, but his boss hasn’t. Raiders coach Jack Del Rio thinks the whole thing is dumb and overblown, and he isn’t hesitant about saying so.
“I’ve caught wind of this story. I’m going to put it in the ‘silly’ category,” Del Rio said on SiriusXM NFL Radio, according to CBSSports.com. “I think once the facts come to light, I don’t think there’s going to be much of an issue. I wouldn’t make too much of it.”
Deputy Kraus thinks differently.
“Legally, he could have been arrested on the spot,” he told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “We believed that there was sufficient probable cause to make an arrest.”
To that end, he said that Sheriff’s Office supervisors have interviewed witnesses, reviewed video surveillance, and notified the District Attorney’s Office. They are continuing the investigation to determine whether they should file charges.
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