An Oklahoma police officer is accused of pepper spraying and repeatedly shocking a dog with a Taser, according to officials.
William Roy Golden, an officer with the Broken Arrow Police Department, is facing charges of animal cruelty and acts resulting in gross injury/outraging public decency, court records filed Sept. 22 show.
The charges stem from an August incident in which residents of a Wagoner County neighborhood witnessed Golden spray a 50-pound English bulldog with pepper spray, the Broken Arrow Sentinel reported.
Video shared to social media showed Golden spraying the dog, which had gotten loose from a resident’s home, the newspaper reported, and Wagoner County officials soon launched an investigation.
In addition to using pepper spray, investigators say Golden shocked the dog with a Taser at least eight times, according to court documents. Golden also drew his handgun and was “threatening” to shoot the animal, the documents said.
At some point, the dog, named Rusty, jumped inside of Golden’s patrol vehicle, according to documents obtained by KOTV.
Although the dog approached Golden, it was not acting aggressive, documents said, the outlet reported. Golden couldn’t explain why he felt the need to pull out a gun, but told investigators he was angry, the station reported.
Attorney information for Golden was not listed in court documents.
Scott Wood, an attorney who KTUL in early September reported was representing Golden, told the TV station at the time that the video seen online is missing important context, and “the force that was used was reasonable to use on an animal in a situation like he confronted.”
The incident occurred outside of Broken Arrow city limits, so the Wagoner County Sheriff’s Office has been in charge of the criminal investigation, Broken Arrow Police Department said in a news release.
Golden has been put on administrative leave while the investigation is underway, the department said, adding that it has conducted its own internal investigation into the matter, but will wait until the criminal investigation is over before sharing its findings.
“We share the community’s concern and appreciate your understanding that due process is necessary and takes time to ensure a thorough and transparent investigation,” the release said. “Ultimately, the internal investigation will conclude and determine if the actions taken are aligned with our core values of courage, integrity, professionalism, accountability, and compassion.”
Broken Arrow is a suburb of Tulsa, roughly 14 miles southwest of the city’s downtown.