Local News

Gastonia homeless veteran arrested, service dog tased

Posted October 24, 2021 9:14 p.m. EDT
Updated October 25, 2021 5:31 a.m. EDT

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— A Gastonia homeless veteran was arrested and his service dog was tased on Thursday, according to NBC affiliate WCNC.

Joshua Rohrer was charged with illegal begging for money and resisting arrest.

WCNC reports that family members said Rohrer is an Army veteran battling post-traumatic stress disorder after serving overseas.

Gastonia police were called to the intersection of Cox Road and Gaston Mall Drive in Gastonia on Thursday for a complaint of a panhandler.

A witness told WCNC that when police asked Rohrer for his ID, they "slammed him up against a car." Another witness told WCNC that when Rohrer was being taken into custody, his service dog, Sunshine, bit an officer's boot.

The witness told WCNC that's when an officer pulled out a stun gun and used it on the dog. The dog ran to a nearby store with one of the prongs still on her body.

Gastonia police told WCNC they're aware of the situation and they're reviewing to see if all the departments policies and procedures were properly followed.

After being bonded out by his family, Rohrer asked people to be on the lookout for his dog. But, it was later announced that Sunshine was hit and killed.

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