Police dog recovering after conflict with suspect

EVERETT — An Everett police dog was recovering Tuesday after being choked and punched by a shoplifting suspect the night before.

The dog, Hutch, and his handler were summoned to the south Everett Wal-Mart store along Evergreen Way about 6:45 p.m. Monday.

The store reported a suspected shoplifter fleeing the scene.

Police began chasing the man. During the chase, the man threw a meth pipe on the ground and it shattered. A star-shaped earring found near the pipe apparently had been stolen from the store, according to the arrest report.

Hutch caught up to the man in nearby woods, the report says. The man grabbed Hutch around the throat and squeezed for about 20 seconds. He also punched the dog in the head about four times.

The dog “suffered some very minor injuries during the incident, and he should be fine,” Everett police spokesman Aaron Snell said Tuesday.

The man reportedly also was carrying a backpack with a small safe inside. The safe held small amounts of heroin, methadone and painkillers.

The man, 30, of Everett, was booked into the Snohomish County Jail for investigation of harming a police dog, theft, obstruction and possessing a controlled substance.

Harming a police dog is a felony under state law and carries a fine of up to $5,000.

The penalties are stiffer if the dog is killed.

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