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Friday, February 28, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Spokane

K-9 Laslo back at work after alleged attack by suspect

Police dog Laslo is back on the job after a violent struggle with a domestic violence suspect Tuesday evening.

Laslo and his handler, Cpl. Jeff Thurman of the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office, responded to a domestic violence call in the 23800 block of North Elk Chattaroy Road around 9:30 p.m. Tuesday. The man ran into the woods and Thurman and Laslo pursued him.

Laslo was released and caught up to the man and Thurman could hear yelling, according to a Sheriff’s Office news release. When Thurman caught up, he could see the suspect violently punching Laslo in the head and twisting his neck while holding the dog in a headlock, the news release said.

Other deputies were able to free Laslo and arrest the suspect, identified as Russell E. Bartz, 49. He is facing a felony charge of harming a police dog and misdemeanor fourth-degree assault. His bond was set at $20,000 during a brief court appearance Wednesday.

Laslo was unharmed and completed his shift, the Sheriff’s Office said.

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