Former Assistant Fire Chief Snaps, Attacks Dog with Rocks
Los Angeles Times via YellowBrix
January 15, 2010
LOS ANGELES – Testimony has begun in the case of a former Los Angeles County assistant fire chief who prosecutor alleged mortally wounded his neighbors’ 6-month-old dog because it ran onto his property.
The case in Riverside County has received national attention and is being closely watch by animal rights activists.
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According to KTLA News reporter Chris Wolfe, the defense offers a different account of the incident. In court this week, defense attorneys said the dog’s owners, Jeff and Shelley Toole, are the “neighbors from hell” who routinely take in stray animals and then don’t take care of them, giving them the run of the community.
A friend of the Toole family, Travis Staggs, told The Times last year that on Nov. 3, 2008, he was walking the dog, Karley, home from his yard when Johnson offered to take over.
“Then something in his head snapped and he started beating the dog,” Staggs said.
Johnson allegedly punched Karley with a closed fist about a dozen times and then beat her with an 11-inch rock, Staggs said, adding that he tried to stop Johnson but was pushed away.