Local/State

Video released of Trooper kicking K-9 partner

Monday, April 28, 2008

Former Trooper Charles Jones, seen in a video kicking his K-9 partner, was fired for mistreating his dog named Ricoh.

At a hearing in Raleigh Monday, the trooper was trying to get his job back.

In a training video from last summer, the dog is seen hanging by its leash from a deck railing. But according to testimony, what got the former Highway Patrol Sergeant fired was leaving the dog hanging too long.

After seeing the video Highway Patrol Captain Ken Castelloe recommended Jones be fired.

"There is no training value in leaving the dog hanging," Castelloe said.

Castelloe also told the judge that he knew Jones to be a good and respected trainer.

"I can understand what Charles was trying to do. He was trying to gain compliance from his dog," Castelloe said. "I don't believe Charles Jones would ever hurt that dog."

Jones' attorney said he believes his client was fired because the governor's office feared the video would be released to the public amid adverse publicity about misdeeds by several other State Troopers.

Secretary of Crime Control and Public Safety Bryan Beatty took the stand saying members of the governor's staff had seen the video.

He says although the governor never told him to fire Jones, he knew the governor's feelings after speaking with the governor's three top staffers.

"All of them made me aware that the Governor believed Sgt. Jones should be dismissed based on what he knew about the treatment of Ricoh," Beatty said.

An administrative law judge must figure out if the actions constitute as animal abuse so he can decide whether Jones can have his job back.

As far as Ricoh, he has been retired from active duty. A Highway Patrol spokesman says he is being well cared for.

Testimony in the case will continue in the Tuesday morning.

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