Local News

Highway Patrol wants dog back

Posted October 31, 2008 1:43 p.m. EDT
Updated December 19, 2008 6:13 p.m. EST

— A North Carolina Highway Patrol trooper used poor judgment in asking a former colleague to care for his dog, Capt. Everett Clendenin said Friday.

Trooper Charles Jones and Ricoh became infamous when video surfaced of Jones kicking the K-9 during training.

Jones lost his job for his harsh discipline methods, and Ricoh got early retirement.

Trooper Robert Reaves, a former member of the Highway Patrol's K-9 unit, agreed to give Ricoh a home. He signed a contract agreeing not to neglect or abuse the dog.

When Reaves went on vacation in September, however, he asked Jones to care for Ricoh. The situation came to the attention of the Highway Patrol when neighbors reported seeing Ricoh in Jones' yard.

The Highway Patrol asked Reaves to return Ricoh on Friday, Clendenin said. He pointed out, however, that the contract means the dog legally belongs to Reaves.

Clendenin said the the contract stipulated that Ricoh would never be exposed to neglect or mistreatment. The Highway Patrol believes Reaves violated that tenet of the contract when he left the dog with Jones.

"The fact that he turned the dog back over to Charles Jones, whom the patrol dismissed for his actions toward the dog, is just upsetting to the patrol," Clendenin said.

Jones was fired in September 2007 after another trooper turned over two 15-second video clips of Jones suspending Ricoh from a railing and kicking him repeatedly to make him release a training toy.

In recent weeks, the Office of State Personnel ordered that Jones be reinstated.

The commission found that the Highway Patrol did not have "just cause to dismiss for unacceptable personal conduct;" however, it did find "sufficient cause for discipline for unsatisfactory job performance," Crime Control and Public Safety Secretary Bryan Beatty said.

The Highway Patrol is appealing that order.