FRANKLIN — A Franklin man accused of intentionally kicking a police dog is facing a felony charge.
Sean M. Ethimiou, 38, 203 Smith Hill Road, was indicted for willful interference with a police dog; he allegedly kicked Falco multiple times in the head Oct. 24.
The German shepherd is the partner of Franklin Police Sgt. Joe Guerriero, and assists in sniffing out drugs, criminal apprehension and tracking down suspects.
According to an affidavit filed in support of an arrest warrant, police responded to Ethimiou’s home after a woman called for assistance shortly before 5:30 p.m. reporting that he was threatening to harm himself with a knife.
The woman told police that Ethimiou had left the house with a knife and was last seen walking into the woods toward the power line on Smith Hill Road; she asked officers to “please hurry.”
When officers arrived, Ethimiou began swearing at the officers and refused verbal commands to come out of the woods or to show his hands. When officers attempted to detain him, he struggled with them and pulled his hands away. It was then Falco bit Ethimiou on the left calf.
According to the affidavit, Ethimiou kicked the dog in the face three times, prompting the dog to let go and then re-grip on the defendant’s right thigh.
Ethimiou was taken to Franklin Regional Hospital for treatment. According to the affidavit, his wife told police that Ethimiou had been using methamphetamine and that his drug abuse caused him to behave abnormally.
Maiming or causing the death of or willful interference with police dogs or horses is a Class B felony, potentially punishable by a 3.5 to seven years in prison.
Ethimiou is also facing three class A misdemeanor charges of resisting arrest or detention, simple assault and criminal threatening for his alleged conduct with officers.
Ethimiou has pleaded not guilty and remains free on personal recognizance bail on the condition he is supervised by Merrimack Pretrial Services. He is subject to a curfew, and must be screened by a licensed alcohol and drug abuse counselor.
He is scheduled to appear in Merrimack County Superior Court on Jan. 29.