MARICOPA COUNTY – A Maricopa County man, Harold Whistler, is in custody after he shot a Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office K-9 officer with a pellet gun during a barricade situation on Tuesday. K-9 Karl is expected to recover after being hit in the head with pellets.
According to the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO), on Tuesday, February 11, 2020, deputies responded to multiple citizen calls about a man with a rifle and pistol stopping traffic and pointing the gun at them in the area of 293rd Ave and Polk.
Deputies responded and made contact with the 61-year-old Whistler, who retreated in response into his home. He then spent hours exiting and entering the home holding a firearm, ignoring commands from deputies.
After the MCSO SWAT Unit and negotiators were unable to secure a peaceful surrender, Whistler’s home was breached by MCSO’s SWAT. K9 Karl was then deployed but Whistler still refused to surrender.
Whistler shot K9 Karl with three rounds from a pellet gun, striking him in the ear and mouth. K9 Karl was still able to bite Whistler’s leg and hold on. Whistler tried escaping K9 Karl by striking him in his head with his weapon but was unsuccessful.
Whistler was arrested and taken to the hospital for treatment of a dog bite. Upon release from the hospital, Whistler was booked into the 4th Avenue Jail.
“Every member of the MCSO family is valued,” said Sheriff Penzone in a press release. “We will not tolerate acts of violence against our team as they work to keep the community safe. Karl will make a full recovery and return to his duties pursuing bad guys.”
Whistler was charged with 5 counts of Aggravated Assault, and 1 count of Harming a Working Service Animal.