Suspect fights with K9 Laslo, tells deputies they're lucky he di - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Suspect fights with K9 Laslo, tells deputies they're lucky he didn't 'snap that (expletive) dog's neck'

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K9 Laslo K9 Laslo
Russell Bartz in 2007 (PHOTO: DOC) Russell Bartz in 2007 (PHOTO: DOC)
SPOKANE, Wash. -

A 49-year-old domestic violence suspect is being charged with Assault and Harming a Police Dog after punching Spokane County Sheriff K9 Laslo Tuesday night. 

Corporal Thurman and Laslo were responding to a domestic violence call on North Elk Chattaroy Road Tuesday night to find the suspect, Russell E. Bartz, fled into the woods. Deputies were told Bartz had been drinking and smelled like paint thinner. 

Cpl. Thurman and Laslo began searching for Bartz in the woods and the Sheriff's Office says Thurman gave multiple warnings that if Bartz didn't come out, he could possibly meet Laslo and be bitten.

After a while, Cpl. Thurman heard K9 Laslo thrashing in some thick brush while a man yelled "Get this (expletive) dog!"

When Cpl. Thurman found the scene of the struggle he saw Bartz holding Laslo in a head lock and violently punching him and twisting his neck. Thurman ordered Bartz to stop punching Laslo, which he did, however, he continued to violently twist Laslo's neck, according to the Sheriff's Office. Deputies say Cpl. Thurman struck Bartz in his forearm, which caused him to release Laslo. Cpl. Thurman then called Laslo off Bartz and Laslo went into the guard position while deputies took Bartz into custody. 

While in custody, deputies say Bartz continued to yell at them, even telling Thurman "You're lucky I didn't snap that (expletive) dog's neck!"

Laslo was not injured during the incident and even continued his shift with Cpl. Thurman. 

Bartz was given medical treatment and then booked into the Spokane County Jail for 4th Degree Assault (a misdemeanor) and Harming a Police Dog (a felony). 

According to the Department of Corrections, Bartz has a criminal history that includes child rape,drug possession,failure to report as a felony sex offender,unlawful possession of a firearm and possession of stolen property. 

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