RAINS COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - Charges have been dropped against former Rains County Deputy Jarrod Dooley, who was facing animal cruelty charges. The former deputy was also attacked outside of the courtroom.
Dooley surrendered his law enforcement license Thursday in court during a second pre-trial hearing. He is charged with animal cruelty after he shot
"We still maintain that there was a defense to the shooting, but in an effort to have Mr. Dooley to be able to move on with his life we accepted the state's offer of dismissal," Pete Schulte, Dooley's attorney, said.
Judge Eddie Northcutt called Dooley and his attorney to appear. The pair walked to the front of the courtroom and talked with the judge before walking into a back room for a continued conversation.
While the former deputy was being interviewed, a man in the courtroom ran out and pushed him. Dooley yelled and his lawyers hushed him. The man, who has not been identified, ran out of the courthouse. Shortly after Dooley exited the courtroom, the same man punched him. Texas Department of Safety officials were called to the scene. No one was arrested in the incident.
"I now recognize that my previous history has left me with an excessive fear of another dog bite. I also recognize that the normal duties of a peace officer require being in the presence of dogs on a regular basis," Dooley said in court, just before announcing that he had signed a permanent surrender of license.
"The public outcry that resulted from this incident led some of the elected officials in this county to make rash decisions this should never have been indicted," Schulte continued.
"In addition, I apologize to Mr. Middleton for shooting his dog. As I said, I know that my fear of being bitten again, and my past history, was a major factor in what resulted on April 19," he said.
"After how this all transpired Jerrod felt like he was done with law enforcement he didn't feel like he was treated fairly," Schulte said.
On April 18, Dooley responded to a burglary call at Cole Middleton's home. When he arrived, Middleton's dog, Candy, was sitting in the back of a parked truck barking. Dooley can be heard getting out of his patrol car on a dash camera video talking to the dog. The dog then jumps from the truck and the rest happens off camera. Dooley allegedly shot the dog.
Immediately after the shooting, the dog can be heard crying. Middleton then had to drown the dog to put it out of its' misery since his guns has been stolen.The deputy said he had been involved in two incidents in which a dog had been shot. In January, Dooley was dispatched to a residence in Point, Texas and shot a rottweiler dog. He said he did so because he feared bodily injury. He said in his statement that he shot Candy because he also felt "imminent danger of bodily injury."
"That's a big step for justice. It makes me sleep at night a little easier," Cole Middleton, the dog's owner, said. "One of the things that I did not want was for this to happen to somebody else and I can assure you that if Jerrod Dooley was still carrying a gun around that this would happen again."
Following the second incident, Dooley said he had a conversation with fellow officer Kurt Fischer and told him that he had no choice except to shoot the blue heeler because he was not going to be bitten again. During his previous employment, he was badly bitten by a dog.
The Department of Public Safety
regarding the behavior of one of their troopers who responded to the call.