APACHE JUNCTION, AZ — A Mesa police officer was arrested after dragging a dog behind a truck in Apache Junction, causing fatal injuries to the animal.
Apache Junction police were called to investigate the animal cruelty incident on April 9 after a property manager witnessed a truck dragging a dog behind it. Police documents say surveillance video from the property showed an animal "clearly identifiable as a brown dog" being dragged behind the truck.
Multiple other witnesses made attempts to stop the driver, but the driver had reportedly accelerated to speeds as high as 45 miles per hour, police say.
A separate witness reportedly got the driver to stop and saw the driver "unchain the dog behind the truck, pick it up by the scruff of the neck and throw it in the back seat," according to documents.
An animal shelter manager said a man, repeatedly identified by staff through photos as Spencer Allen, came into the shelter saying he found an injured stray animal that had been hit by a vehicle. He said he wanted it euthanized and was directed to a Mesa veterinary clinic.
Veterinary staff said the dog had serious injuries but was alert. After the dog was brought to a Mesa veterinary hospital, staff said its injuries appeared to be from being "dragged."
The dog was transferred to the Arizona Humane Society and had to be euthanized due to the severity of its injuries.
When Allen was questioned by police about the incident, he again said the dog had been hit by a car and made jokes about the dog's condition. He initially denied the animal was his and said the dog was not chained behind his vehicle until he confessed.
Allen told police he had the dog, named Cosmo, for seven years and "panicked, and that there was no excuse."
According to police, Allen said, "every chance they can get to crucify someone it's gonna happen... it's my time on the chopping block."
Mesa Police Department says Allen resigned from the department in May 2021 after working with the department since 2014.
He had been working as a patrol officer at the time of his resignation.
He is facing charges of animal cruelty, forgery and falsifying a report.