In a special meeting Monday, the Clay County Commissioners suspended Brandon Riggle, 27, an employee of the Clay County Highway Department, for 90 days without pay.
Shortly before midnight on May 4, an unidentified homeowner called 911 dispatchers to report they were able to get the license plate number of the truck that just hit their home at 1378 West County Road 800 South and drove off.
After a search discovered an abandoned truck, with blood and firearms inside, Deputy/K-9 Handler Josh Clarke and K-9 Officer Forrest tracked down Riggle, hiding in a brush pile under some weeds.
Riggle refused several orders by Clarke to come out, and when Forrest was sent out to get him, he allegedly began hitting Forrest in the head, causing bruising and swelling to the K-9's head and muzzle.
The commissioners also ordered Riggle to undergo alcohol counseling, at his expense, but will keep the county's health insurance active, which is rare for suspended employees.
"It was an unfortunate situation that happened," President of the Commissioners Charlie Brown said. "We are trying to be fair to all sides and provide an opportunity for him to turn it back around and have a second chance."
The 90-day suspension allows the commissioners to track his progress and await ruling from the court regarding his charges.
Riggle has been formally charged with operating a vehicle with an ACE of .15 or more, operating a vehicle while intoxicated -- endangering a person, resisting law enforcement, interfering with a law enforcement animal and failure to stop after an accident resulting in non-vehicle damage, all of which are misdemeanors.
He is scheduled to appear in Clay Circuit Court July 9, and the commissioners will reconvene after the 90 days to decide on further action.
"We received a lot of calls about terminating him, but that's not what we felt was the right thing to do," Commissioner Paul Sinders said. "This is his first offense, so we felt that terminating him was a bit too harsh, however, there is no guarantee that he will be reinstated."