Steven Seagal
Steven Seagal says he is not a dog killer. Image: thisgig/Flickr/CC BY

Action movie star and part-time special sheriff’s deputy Steven Seagal is being sued by a Phoenix man over a raid on his home that allegedly left the family puppy dead. Seagal, who drove a tank through a fence surrounding the house, denies the charges.

Seagal participated in raid

Jesus Llovera’s home was raided on March 9 because of accusations he was running a cockfighting ring in Phoenix, Ariz. Llovera says that the family dog, an 11-month-old puppy, was killed in the action. The raid was video-taped as part of the A&E reality show “Steven Seagal: Lawman.” The show, which blurs the line between entertainment and reality, features real police raids in which the deputized action star participates.

Llovera is asking for $25,000 from the sheriff’s department for humiliation, emotional distress and property damage. He also is asking for an unspecified sum and a written apology from Seagal over the death of the dog.

Actor drove a tank through fence

Witnesses at the raid say the puppy was very much alive and present when deputies — including Seagal — and SWAT team members burst into the property. According to Llovera’s claim, explosives were set off as a distraction, and Seagal drove a tank through an iron fence surrounding the property. In addition to the puppy, Llovera asserts that the raid led to the death of more than 100 chickens.

Sheriff’s department and Seagal deny charges

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio and the actor both say the charges are groundless. “If my deputies, or posse man Seagal for that matter, had done something so awful like shooting a family dog,” queries Arpaio, “then where are the photos to prove it?”

“My client never accused Seagal of having anything to do with the death of his puppy,” countered Llovera’s attorney Robert Campos. “He just wants an apology from Seagal for his role in the destruction of my client’s home, property and animals.”

Criminal case is pending

The cockfighting case is pending. The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Department maintains that the raid was a legitimate law enforcement action.

Llovera says he may be willing to withdraw the suit against Seagal if the actor will come and personally apologize to his children for the loss of their dog.

Sources

Forbes: http://www.forbes.com/sites/erikkain/2011/08/31/actor-steven-seagal-sued-for-driving-tank-into-arizona-home-killing-puppy/
Galveston Daily News: http://galvestondailynews.com/ap/fc6fa0/
ABC: http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/entertainment/2011/09/man-sues-steven-seagal-for-allegedly-killing-puppy/

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