Suspected car thief charged with assaulting police dog

PUYALLUP, Wash. -- A 29-year-old man has been charged with harming a police dog after he repeatedly punched the dog in the head during his arrest for stealing a car Monday in Puyallup, according to charging documents filed Tuesday in Pierce County Superior Court.

The victim was hanging out with friends on Ninth Avenue around 1:45 a.m. when he heard his car start. The victim reported the car stolen, and officers spotted it a few minutes later on Shaw Road.

According to the charging documents, the search lead officers to Forest Rim Court, where the car was found with its engine and windshield wipers still running.

A police dog named Kramer led officers to some bushes between houses on 28th Street South, and the suspect called out to officers that he was hiding there, according to the documents.

The suspect reportedly fought back when Kramer started dragging him out from the bushes by his arm, kicking the dog in the side.

According to the charging documents, a deputy repeatedly told the suspect to stop struggling, but the suspect ignored the instructions and punched Kramer multiple times in the head.

The deputy and officers were eventually able to restrain the suspect and get him handcuffed.

According to the documents, the suspect was identified as Joseph Chesley, who was currently out on $30,000 bail in connection with a drug case.

He was charged with theft of a motor vehicle, harming a police dog and possessing motor-vehicle theft tools.

Kramer the police dog appeared to be no worse for wear from the scuffle.

“The deputy later checked Kramer and did not notice any obvious injury to Kramer, noting however that it is difficult to determine if dogs are injured given their fur and inability to talk.”