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Woman faced jail time for 'staring' at a police dog!


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  • Woman faced jail time for 'staring' at a police dog!

    Animal cruelty case yields 'doggone' dismissal

    June 6, 2007

    By Peter Hirschfeld Times Argus Staff

    CHELSEA – A woman facing jail time for "staring" at a police dog had charges against her dropped Monday after an Orange County prosecutor viewed videotape of the alleged crime.

    Jayna Hutchinson, now of Lebanon, N.H., was scheduled for a jury trial this week on a misdemeanor charge of cruelty to animals.

    A Vermont State Police sergeant said Hutchinson was intoxicated and stared at his police dog in a "taunting/harassing manner" last July while officers were in the process of investigating a reported melee outside a West Fairlee establishment.

    "Prosecuting a woman for staring at a police dog is absurd," said Kelly Green, a public defender appointed by Vermont District Court in Orange County to represent Hutchinson. She likened the act to giving a police officer the finger – a form of expression protected by rights accorded under the First Amendment.

    "After looking at the video, I did not think it was worthwhile proceeding," Orange County State's Attorney Will Porter said Tuesday.

    He said it would be difficult to prove that Hutchinson's behavior met the statutory standard for cruelty to animals, which in this case would have required that Hutchinson "intentionally torment(ed) or harass(ed) an animal owned … by a police department."

    According to an affidavit, Hutchinson approached Sgt. Todd Protzman on the night of July 31 as he and at least three other officers were investigating a fight. Hutchinson, who later registered a .218 blood-alcohol content, told Protzman she wanted to report that she had been beat up the night before by one of the men involved in the fight, according to Green.

    Green said the video showed Protzman mocking Hutchinson's appearance.

    "I think his comment about Jayna's looks revealed the real reason he arrested her," Green said. "I'd venture a guess to say that if she'd been small and pretty and had been complaining of being assaulted, he may have done more to investigate her claims."

    Porter said he saw no indication of improper behavior by Protzman and that he was doing his best to deal with a very intoxicated person.

    "Ms. Hutchinson was very intoxicated. Did he have some abrupt comments toward her? Yeah," Porter said. "He had some curt responses to get her out of his hair so he could attend to what he was there for."

    "I neither approve or blame. I merely relate."- Voltaire

  • #2
    I'd like to see what else this cop calls cases, I'm sure it's quite humorous. Why in the Hell didn't he just hook her up for public drunk and be done with it?
    "I neither approve or blame. I merely relate."- Voltaire


    • #3
      The only logic behind it is that staring at a dog can be considered provoking it. Dogs react differently, and often violently, when they feel that they're on the losing end of staring contest.
      "The majority of people are sheep. Wolves prey on the sheep. You are the sheepdog. The sheep pretend the wolf will never come, but the sheepdog lives for that day. " -Lt. Col. Grossman

      "We are righteous under the law, and we are righteous under God!" -Chief T. Fleming


      • #4
        She probably thought it was her old boyfriend.

        Molly Weasley makes Chuck Norris eat his vegetables.



        • #5
          I barked back at a K9 unit in Los Angeles once, the cop yelled at me "what are you, a dog?" He started it


          • #6
            Originally posted by JSandi View Post
            I'd like to see what else this cop calls cases, I'm sure it's quite humorous. Why in the Hell didn't he just hook her up for public drunk and be done with it?
            Because public drunkeness is NOT a crime in VT. Not that this was either, but hey....at least it is a real statute he used!


            • #7
              what A Cluster $#%#@^#@!-
              "Fast is fine, but accuracy is everything!"-Wyatt Earp

              "You never know when crazy will show up!"-Irishdep


              • #8
                Is this a joke? It's gotta be, because when I read this, I couldn't stop laughing. (Unless the dog was gonna testify, too)

                A man should never be ashamed to own that he has been in the wrong, which is but saying... that he is wiser today than yesterday. Jonathan Swift 1667-1745

                It's only a conspiracy when your party is not in power.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by michiganDT View Post
                  I barked back at a K9 unit in Los Angeles once, the cop yelled at me "what are you, a dog?" He started it

                  Lol! Seems like a waste of time to take her in for this. Like someone else said, take her for public intoxication.
                  “Courage is being scared to death but saddling up anyway” (John Wayne)


                  • #10
                    It is not nice to stare.
                    Prov 17:17 A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.


                    • #11
                      Just tied her up in court a little bit. Makes for humorous headlines though!
                      -I don't feel you honor someone by creating a physical gesture (the salute). You honor them by holding them in memory and, in law enforcement, proceeding in vigilant, ethical police work. You honor this country or deceased soldiers or whatever you're honoring when you salute a flag by thinking, feeling, and continuing a life of freedom.



                      • #12
                        No public intoxication law here. They just get sent to lock up for "protective custody". VT is a very liberitarian state. Need to remind you that this is a State which calls going to jail being "lodged".


                        • #13
                          A friend of mine has three trained patrol dogs, and I know for a fact I can set them off by just staring at them (don't ask me how I know ). So, not knowing exactly what she was doing, I could maybe stretch an incident to that charge. She may have been actively aggravating the dog.

                          But.... it wouldn't fly in the courts around here either.
                          "Blaming the prince of the fools should not blind anyone to the vast confederacy of fools that made him their prince" - Unknown Author

                          "That government is best which governs the least, because its people discipline themselves." - Thomas Jefferson

                          “There are two ways to conquer and enslave a nation. One is by the sword. The other is by debt.” - John Adams


                          • #14
                            I thought it was silly too, until I read in the other article that after a heated exchange, the woman approached the officers vehicle, got within inches of the window and taunted the dog.
                            The liberal politician has the only job where they go to the office to work for everyone but those who pay their salary.


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