Arrogant Officer Resigns After Shooting Friendly Dog

Life With Dogs is reader-supported. We may earn a small commission through products purchased using links on this page.

5.8.14 - Arrogant Officer Resigns After Shooting Friendly Dog1

A Louisiana police officer who flippantly smirked after shooting a friendly, tethered dog while his owner was handcuffed has resigned, just before “final disciplinary action” was taken against him.

Brandon Carpenter, a traveling musician from Portland, Maine, had his Newfoundland-golden retriever mix Arzy with him while visiting friends in Lake Charles, LA.  They were walking around Sulphur, LA with another friend from Maine, Logan Laliberte.  To dodge a rainstorm, the trekkers sought shelter in the back of an unlocked box truck in the parking lot of the Southwest Daily News.

Suspicious newspaper office workers called police, who sent officer Brian Thierbach to respond.  The officer immediately became confrontational, according to the dog owner.

“He asked us how long we had been here, and I said, ‘Five seconds.’  He said that was five seconds too long,” Carpenter said.

Carpenter insisted that he and his friend were respectful and accommodated the officer’s requests.  Thierbach asked him to get his dog, and watched as Carpenter tethered Arzy’s leash to a fence.  He and Laliberte were forced to lie on the ground as they were handcuffed, facing away from Arzy.  Then a gunshot rang out.

Carpenter couldn’t see what took place, but Eric Midkiff, circulation manager for the news, had a perfect view.  He had pulled into the parking lot after the men were cuffed, and from 20 feet away, could see Thierbach on the back of the truck, petting Arzy.

5.8.14 - Arrogant Officer Resigns After Shooting Friendly Dog3

“The dog was rubbing up against the cop,” Midkiff said.  “He would rub the dog’s back and then push him away. All of a sudden, he just jumped down and shot the dog in the head.”

“I saw my dog convulse and shiver and take his last breath,” Carpenter said.  “I saw the blood start to run down his face.  I’m watching my dog die while I’m sitting in cuffs… He (the officer) thought he could shoot my dog and get away with it.”

Carpenter asked Thierbach why he shot his dog, and the officer “smirked” and said that the dog “nipped my toes.”

Midkiff was adamant that no bite happened.

“That dog did not bite that officer,” he avered.  “The dog was wagging his tail, his tongue was hanging out.”

Carpenter is devastated.  He describes 14-month-old as an “incredible friendly dog,” who had never been aggressive towards anyone.

“He could be backed up by a loud Chihuahua,” Carpenter said.  “He was just a big teddy bear that you had to feed.”

The Sulphur PD responded accordingly – a refreshing change.

“I would like to take this opportunity to address the concerns in reference to the incident which occurred during the morning of April 28,” said Sulphur Police Chief Lewis Coats in a formal statement. “I want to assure you that this incident is being taken seriously and is being investigated thoroughly.”

5.8.14 - Arrogant Officer Resigns After Shooting Friendly Dog5

Carpenter wasn’t going to take the trigger-happy officer’s actions lying down.  He decided to stay in Sulphur until justice could be served for Arzy, but had no idea how impactful his story was.  A fundraiser was started and $5,000 was donated to provide lodging for the man.  A facebook page called Justice for Arzy was also created, and offers t-shirts and Arzy-shaped window decals to show support.  Carpenter has been overwhelmed by the amount of support he has received.

Thankfully, there is actually some justice in this tragic situation.  The investigation determined that Thierbach “violated the Sulphur Police Department’s Departmental Policy and Procedure regarding Use of Force and Personal Conduct and Behavior.”  Thierbach resigned before he could face “final disciplinary action.”

“I am a dog lover and I am deeply saddened by this incident,” Chief Coats said in the release issued Thursday afternoon. “I realize there is nothing I can say that would take away the hurt this incident has caused Mr. Brandon Carpenter. The actions of Officer Thierbach did not represent what I expect from the officers of the Sulphur Police Department. Those of us who serve as law enforcement officers do so with the responsibility of serving and protecting the community as professionals. The resignation of Officer Thierbach was accepted so that the officers and community can heal and move forward.”

Hopefully now Carpenter can heal, too.  He calls the resignation “a couple steps in the right direction.”

“At this point, it’s all I could have hoped for. I do think he should be brought to full justice,” he said. “Now I’m going through some inner turmoil.  Can’t I just forgive and forget?  I’ve certainly made some mistakes in my life.  But nobody’s above the law.  I had to pay for my mistakes.  That’s why I learned not to do them again.”

The Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office is now proceeding with a criminal investigation of the shooting.

5.8.14 - Arrogant Officer Resigns After Shooting Friendly Dog4






6 thoughts on “Arrogant Officer Resigns After Shooting Friendly Dog”

  1. Isn’t there a civil law suit that can be filed? Mental anguish at least?? (look into the guy suing McDonalds for 1.5 million for only giving him one napkin, no joke). This story breaks my heart, I’m sorry for your loss of your puppy.

  2. what is wrong with all these cops? recently a cop shot a dog on a farm outside of Dallas, then i was nust reading about a cop that shit a dog in Oklahoma. i remember seeing footage about a man getting arrested in Austin and his dog was trying to protect him, they wouldn’t let the man attend to the dog, they shot it. i told my husband one dog screws up it’s all over the news, but i read several accounts if man’s inhumanity to dogs daily

  3. That son of a bastard didn’t resign himself for any good reason. He did it so he didn’t have the mark of a man fired from a job. Give us a picture of this lowlife scum and give his home address. If he does not rot in jail for this then he will get what is coming to him in the form of firebombs and knives. This hell swine whore deserves all the pain he can get. There are a lot of bad cops out nowadays, a lot of good ones, but a lot of hell awful heartless bastards.

  4. There seems to be an epidemic of the gun nut cops who just cant wait to shoot something so they pick on a dog figuring they can get away with it. The SOB resgined only to avoid disciplninary action. Now what is needed with the criminal investigation is jail time so he has a criminal record and can never get this sort of job again. And hopefully whatever jail he goes to, get the word out that hes a nasty cop.

    Then Mr Carpenter needs to file a civil suit against the officer and the department, yes they have to be included. They hired him and are partly to blame for his reprehensible conduct. Hopefully the department will settle without much fuss. And media coverage bigtime to show other police departments THIS is what we expect, not a whitewash of some garbage cop.

    Animals are PTS for the slightest infraction of a “human” rule. If they so much as nip at an unsupervised kid who is tormenting them, they could be killed. Yet humans can do anything they want and get away with it. This is not how it should be!!!

  5. I live in the UK where ANIMAL CONTROL OFFICERS (NO GUNS) just the expertise and ability to take dogs under their control without any shooting function successfully.
    No dogs get blown away, no tragedies, no carnage.
    Why is it different over there?


Leave a Comment