Sgt. Tom Lovejoy, of the Chandler Police Department, is accused of leaving his police dog in his patrol car for more than 12 hours in 109 degree temperatures. Bandit, the 5-year-old Belgian Malinois, died from the intense heat.
He was booked into jail with a misdemeanor charge of animal cruelty after a two-week investigation was done.
The investigation showed Bandit was in Lovejoy’s patrol car from around 9 a.m. to shortly after 10 p.m. on August 11. When Bandit was in the car, Lovejoy did errands, took a nap, and ate with his wife. When he came back to the car, Bandit had already died.
“I am certain Sgt. Lovejoy has suffered greatly from leaving his police dog in a sweltering car,” Sheriff Joe Arpaio said. “I do not relish the idea of compounding his sadness. However, Lovejoy must be treated like anyone else in similar circumstances.”
Lovejoy is set to appear in court on September 25 and has been advised not to comment on his case.
Lovejoy said Wednesday night that he is scheduled to appear in court September 25 and his lawyer advised him not to comment further.
“With the sheriff railing on me right now, it’s kind of hard to say anything,” Lovejoy said.
An internal investigation of the case has also been launched.
Source: Daily News
Photo: Associated Press