Boise Police Department
News Release

Michael F. Masterson
Chief of Police


Contact: Lynn Hightower
Communications Director
570-6180

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

DV Suspect charged with trying to strangle a Police Dog; daily incident report

02-15-11 DV Suspect charged with trying to strangle a Police Dog; daily incident report

    Boise Police officers are calling a K9 a hero after a repeat domestic violence suspect tried to strangle the dog during his arrest. 

   Arrested: Michael R. Gillespie, 34, Tacoma, WA

    Charges: Mistreatment of a Police Dog (F), Attempted Strangulation (F), Resisting & Obstructing Officers (m), Violation of a No Contact Order (m)

    What Happened:Boise Police responded to a domestic violence call shortly before noon yesterday at a home near W. Cole Rd & N. Ustick Rd. Officers were told by witnesses the suspect had attempted to strangle the victim. The suspect had left on foot just prior to officers arrival. Officers had information the suspect just arrived in Idaho and had recently been released from a Washington State prison on domestic violence charges. Officers also learned a court ordered No Contact Order was in place between the suspect and the victim.

    Officers tried to contact the suspect via telephone and text. The suspect returned threatening texts to the officers and refused to cooperate. Officers continued to track the suspect and by late afternoon, believed the suspect was hiding in an open field near Fairview Ave & N. Allumbaugh St. Officers repeatedly yelled to the suspect, trying to locate him. Officers warned the suspect if he did not peacefully surrender, a trained  apprehension dog would be sent to flush him out, but still the suspect refused officer's commands. 

    Boise Police Service Dog Ruwa was deployed, located the suspect hiding in the bushes and, following his training, bit the suspect on the arm. The suspect fought with Ruwa and the suspect then tried to choke the dog using his legs. Ruwa was able to hang on but he suffered a broken tooth, which was found and removed from the suspect's arm.  

    "This is what these amazing police service dogs are trained to do, find the suspect while protecting officers," said Boise Police Lt. Alan Cavener, patrol watch commander and a supervisor of the BPD K9 unit. "In this case, Ruwa held the suspect while officers could safely move in and make the arrest. This suspect had made threats and was considered dangerous. Thankfully everyone is safe today, thanks to Ruwa."

    In addition to other charges, the suspect Gillespie was charged with Felony Battery on a Police K-9. The suspect was taken for medical treatment, then booked into the Ada County Jail on the above charge.

    Ruwa's Condition:Following the incident, Ruwa was immediately taken to a veterinarian and will have to see a K-9 dentist to soon. Ruwa's handler has been told the dog will likely have a replacement tooth or cap implanted, which are normally made out of steel. Ruwa has been at home resting since last night and appears to be doing fine. 

About Ruwa: Ruwa is 4 year old, 88 pound Belgium Malinois. Ruwa was born in Belgium. He has been a member of the Boise Police department for just more than one year. He is a certified dual purpose patrol/narcotics detection dog. And he loves string cheese.

Idaho State Code 18-7039.Killing and otherwise mistreating police dogs, police horses, search and rescue dogs and accelerant detection dogs.  (1) Definitions: (a)  "Police dog" shall include:
(i)   "Bomb detection dog" means a dog trained to locate bombs or explosives by scent;
(ii)  "Narcotic detection dog" means a dog trained to locate narcotics by scent;
(iii) "Patrol dog" means a dog trained to protect a peace officer and to apprehend a person;
(iv)  "Tracking dog" means a dog trained to track and find a missing person, escaped inmate or fleeing felon.
(b)  "Police horse" means any horse which is owned, or the service of which is employed, by a law enforcement agency for the principal purpose of aiding in detection of criminal activity, enforcement of laws and apprehension of offenders.
(c)  "Search and rescue dog" means a dog which is trained to locate lost or missing persons, victims of natural or man-made disasters, and human bodies.
(d)  "Accelerant detection dog" means a dog which is used exclusively for accelerant detection, commonly referred to as arson canines.
(2)  The provisions of this section shall apply to police dogs and police horses used by peace officers, including any used by a corrections officer in the performance of the officer's duties, and to search and rescue dogs and accelerant detection dogs used by peace officers or certified handlers under the supervision of a peace officer. The provisions of this section shall apply when the animals are on duty and when not on duty.
(3)  Any person who willfully and maliciously and with no legal justification, and with intent to inflict such injury or death, personally causes the death, destruction, or serious physical injury including bone fracture, loss or impairment of function of any bodily organ, wounds requiring extensive suturing, or serious crippling, of any police dog, police horse, search and rescue dog or accelerant detection dog, shall be guilty of a felony under this section and shall be punished by imprisonment in the state penitentiary for a period not to exceed five (5) years, or by a fine not to exceed ten thousand dollars ($10,000), or by both such fine and imprisonment.
(4)  Any person who willfully, maliciously and with no legal justification, throws, hurls or projects at a police dog, police horse or search and rescue dog, any rock, object or other substance which is used in such a manner as to be capable of producing injury and likely to produce injury or kicks, strikes, beats, or torments any police dog, police horse or search and rescue dog is guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than one (1) year or by a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both such fine and imprisonment.
(5)  Any person who willfully and maliciously and with no legal justification, interferes with or obstructs any police dog, police horse or search and rescue dog being used by any peace officer in the discharge of the officer's duties by teasing, agitating, harassing such animals, or who causes another person or persons, animal or animals, to do likewise, is guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than one (1) year or by a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both such fine and imprisonment.
(6)  In any case in which a defendant is convicted of a violation of the provisions of this section, the defendant shall be ordered to make restitution to the agency owning the animal and employing the peace officer for any veterinary bills, replacement costs of the animal if it is disabled or killed, and the salary of the peace officer for the period of time his or her services are lost to the agency.
(7)  The provisions of this subsection do not apply to peace officers or veterinarians who terminate the life of such a police dog, police horse or search and rescue dog for the purpose of relieving the police dog, police horse or search and rescue dog of undue pain or suffering.
 

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Arrested: Michael H. Gilbertson, 48, Chehalis, WA

Charge: Possession of a Controlled Substance - meth (F)

    A Boise Police officer on patrol made a traffic stop on a vehicle after it passed the officer eastbound on Myrtle approaching 9th St. traveling at an estimated 50mph in a 35mph zone. The passenger in the vehicle, an Acura sedan, was identified as Gilbertson. Boise Police called for the assistance of an Ada County Sheriff's Office narcotic detection K9 who alerted on the vehicle. Officers looked and found a baggie of a white crystalline substance that field tested positive for total package weight of 3 grams of methamphetamine, and a baggie of a green leafy substance, testing positive for 4 grams of marijuana. Officers had evidence of items belonged to the suspect Gilbertson. He was subsequently arrested on the above charge and booked into the Ada County Jail.