Wednesday evening Newport Police Officers were alerted that there was a man at the Bier One pub downtown causing problems. Police found Robert Harstock, 24 of Newport, outside still acting aggressively towards other patrons inside the business. Harstock had with him a very aggressive pit-bull dog. Officers asked Hartsock to move away from the premises.
Hartsock was verbally combative, but complied with officers’ requests to move away. But prior to doing so also incited his pit-bull to act aggressively. As Hartsock began to leave, he provided slack to his dog’s leash, allowing the dog to bite at one of the Police Officers. Hartsock walked several yards away, secured his dog with another bystander and walked aggressively back towards the Officers. Hartsock began making claims that Officers were targeting him because his dog was a pit-bull. Officers told Hartsock he was being asked to leave because the business owner had requested he leave.
Hartsock remained combative. He was asked several times to leave but refused. Hartsock then told Officers he was going to turn his dog loose on them. Hartsock was told to not release the dog, and to leave the area.
Hartsock grabbed the dog’s leash and returned to the Officers. One Officer aimed a taser, and warned that the dog would be tased if Hartsock used the dog as a
weapon. Hartsock continued to yell and argue with Officers then suddenly provided slack to the dog’s leash to allow it to lunge at an Officer. The dogs mouth was open with teeth showing, and appeared to be to be acting as a trained attack dog.
The Officer successfully deployed the Taser on the dog, which stopped the attack.
The dog fled the area.
Officers tried to place Hartsock into custody. He resisted. Officers restrained him and placed him into the back of a patrol car.
Hartsock was transported to the Lincoln County Jail, where he continued to be combative toward Officers and jail staff. Hartsock was lodged in the jail on charges of Attempted Assault 1; Assault on a Public Safety Officer, Resisting Arrest and Menacing. His bail was set at $165,000.
Back at Bier One Newport Police Officers tried to find Hartsock’s dog. There was no sign of it. But earlier this morning it popped up. An animal control officer was able to corral it and place into the back of a truck. The animal was transported to the animal shelter.