Washington Cops Shoot At Backhoe Man Allegedly Stole To Destroy His Dog’s Animal Shelter

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John Oyewale Contributor
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Police in northern Washington shot out the tires of a backhoe in late August, stifling the suspect’s alleged intention to use it to destroy an animal shelter where his dog was being held, authorities say.

The suspect allegedly stole the backhoe from the Catherine Creek Recreation Area with the intention of wrecking the animal shelter near Republic, about 30 miles south of the recreation area, and freeing his dog, according to a statement from the Ferry County Sheriff’s Office. Ferry County police tracked down the suspect with support from Border Patrol, but he kept driving on towards the animal shelter.

The police deemed stop sticks ineffective in stopping the backhoe. They ultimately closed the road while the backhoe was “less than a mile from its destination in the safest area nearby” and shot out the front tires, according to the statement. This slowed down the four-wheel-drive machine only slightly, law enforcement said.

Additional shots to the back tires slowed down the backhoe “to only a few miles per hour and after struggling to control the equipment, the male [suspect] pulled off the roadway and surrendered without further incident,” the statement reads. (RELATED: REPORT: Man On Forklift Leads Police On Really Long, Low-Speed Chase)

The sheriff’s office identified the suspect as Clinton Caress, The Spokesman-Review reported. Before the backhoe incident, officers impounded Caress’ dog because Caress had outstanding warrants for his arrest, could not find anyone to take in the dog and could not reach an agreement with a local pet shelter for boarding, Sheriff Ray Maycumber said. Caress tried to get the dog back after dealing with his court case, but the shelter employees told him he could not retrieve the dog until the impound hold lapsed Friday, according to the outlet. This allegedly angered Caress, and police responded to the scene.

Caress was arrested on suspicion of theft following the backhoe incident and may face additional charges. Meanwhile, police were requested to conduct “an after action, use of force review” given the unusual use of firepower to interrupt the suspected theft, according to the statement.