Arrest after dog injured by firework

TULALIP — Tulalip Tribal police officers say they were forced to kill a dog after the animal fetched a lit firework that later exploded in its mouth.

A 52-year-old man was arrested in connection with the July 8 incident. David Nahinu appeared Monday in Everett District Court where a judge ordered him held on $10,000 for investigation of first-degree animal cruelty.

Nahinu isn’t a tribal member, and the case is expected to be forwarded to the Snohomish County Prosecutor’s Office for a charging decision.

Nahinu was arrested Friday after police searched his home. They found fireworks similar to the one believed to have injured his neighbor’s dog, as well as illegal fireworks, Tulalip Tribal Police Chief Jay Goss said.

Witnesses told officers that they saw Nahinu throwing fireworks into his neighbor’s yard. One neighbor reported seeing a bright flash and hearing a loud explosion around the time that the dog was injured, according to police affidavit.

The firework that exploded in the dog’s mouth is typically launched into the sky from a cardboard tube, not thrown on the ground, Goss said.

“It’s not an illegal firework,” he said. “It can be bought at any firework stand. It’s meant to be used in certain manner. It’s not meant to be thrown and ended up flying around the neighborhood.”

Nahinu allegedly told investigators that the dog had approached smaller fireworks he initially threw on the ground. He said he lobbed the larger firework toward the dog and the animal grabbed it and walked away. Then there was a loud explosion, according to the police affidavit.

The man said he saw the dog drop and roll and then stop moving. He said he went to see what happened but the dog’s owners yelled at him so he went back into his house.

Nahinu told police that he threw the larger firework toward the dog, knowing the animal would play with it, police wrote.

The dog, a German Shepherd mix, had severe injuries to his mouth and face. An officer shot the injured animal to end the dog’s suffering, Goss said.

Diana Hefley: 425-339-3463; hefley@heraldnet.com.

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