Carteret County deputy tases tied dog

By William R. Toler

When Rebecka Brown returned home June 5, she noticed a business card stuck in her door. merlin_prong

That card was from Det. Joey Cooper, a deputy with the Carteret County Sheriff’s Office.

“Naturally I called the number immediately to find out why an officer had been here,” she wrote on a Facebook page.

Det. Cooper told her he was there to serve a warrant to her husband for failure to appear in court in relation to a ticket he had received while hunting. She also found out something horrifying.

“He then told me he had to tase my dog.”

When she asked why, Brown says Det. Cooper told her that Merlin, the family’s year-old lab/boxer mix, had attacked him. “I asked him if he was okay… I was in complete shock! He said he was fine, not so much as a scratch on him.”

[Note: Merlin was attached to a 10′ lead in the backyard, not roaming freely.]

“He instructed me that the taser did not shock Merlin because only one prong made a connection with him,” she said adding that Det. Cooper told her how to remove the prong. When the call ended, she went to check on her wounded pup. “Merlin wouldn’t let me near him. I could see the prong protruding from his back but but he just cowered and whined,” she said.

After several attempts to coax Merlin over so she could remove the prong, she noticed something strange about his eye. “There was a little blood under the lid of his right eye and the eyeball itself resembled an old rubber party balloon.” After she and a friend removed the prong she noticed his eyeball was ripped open.

Brown said she immediately called Det. Cooper back but got his voicemail. She then called the Sheriff’s Office to report her dog’s injuries. An hour later, she says two deputies showed up to investigate. merlin_eye

“They asked to see Merlin, so I took them inside to him,” she said. “As soon as he saw them, he cowered to the side, wimpered, and started to visibly shake. The deputy took a step towards him and Merlin started to growl. He was responding to the uniform… I informed the deputy that this is not his normal behavior and that he is responding out of fear. A uniform, just like theirs, had seriously injured him…. he was afraid of another round with that uniform!”

She believes the eye injury was caused by either a flashlight or a nightstick.

Brown’s quest for accountability continued.

I tried to file a formal complaint with the Sheriff’s Department and I was shuffled away. I went to the magistrate to press charges for animal cruelty and I was told that I couldn’t because he is a law enforcement officer!!! So, I went to the district attorneys office to lodge a complaint and get an investigation underway. I was directed to the SBI (State Bureau of Investigation).”

She has also taken to the internet for justice starting a website, a Facebook page and a petition. On the Justice for Merlin Facebook page, Brown has been updating those interested in her “roadblocks” with law enforcement and the justice system, as well as Merlin’s recovery.

After multiple calls to District Attorney Scott Thomas, an internal investigation was finally started. On Wednesday, Brown says she was visited by Sheriff Asa Buck and an internal affairs officer.
Following the meeting she posted:

Both the sheriff and internal affairs feel that the investigation revealed that the deputy is without fault. He stated that he was afraid when he and Merlin met in my back yard and that the Deputy is thankful that he grabbed the taser rather than his firearm. I was further informed that the deputy had every legal right to be on the property and had a right to defend himself. They do not believe that the deputy entered my back yard with the intent of harming Merlin and that Merlin’s injuries are an unfortunate situation. After Merlin is done with all of his vet visits, I am to inform the department and they will see about getting the bills paid.

I honestly don’t know how I feel about all this. I’m angry that my dog was hurt. I’m very angry that my dog will never regain full sight in that eye. I’m hurt that my children are affected by this to the point that they tell me they are afraid of cops. I’m angry that the use of tasers on animals is endorsed by our county. The county considers this matter closed.

I’ve never known the sheriff to be anything but honorable. I am so confused and hurt.

Begin rant:

Justified? Afraid of a dog that was tied up?

There is not justification for harming an animal if you just get spooked. The deputy, according to Brown, admitted that he didn’t have a scratch on him. So how can this assault be justified?

If it had not been a law enforcement officer, the individual responsible for the injuries to Merlin would be brought up on animal cruelty charges. But because of the incestuous investigation, the perp gets to walk.

The Department shouldn’t have to compensate for the vet bills…the individual who committed the act should be the responsible party. Badges don’t grant extra rights and individuals are responsible for their own actions.

End rant.

Carteret County Sheriff’s Office
Sheriff Asa Buck
304 Craven Street
Beaufort, NC 28516
(252) 504-4800

[This post originally appeared at]

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About Will

William R. Toler is a journalist and filmmaker born and raised in the Tarheel State. He has worked in both newspapers and television since 2005, dabbled in radio and is the managing editor of

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35 Responses to “Carteret County deputy tases tied dog”

  1. Carol June 22, 2013 at 9:07 am #

    He needs to be fired no excuses from the Sheriff’s department acceptable.

  2. heather kennon June 22, 2013 at 9:42 am #

    thats carteret county for you,joey cooper ,frank galizza and mark farlowe,pepper spray ,and beat my boyfriend,in the county jail..april 27 2005…the county sheriiff and everybody is a joke around here..bunch of backwood hicks..

  3. BRANDON ELPS June 22, 2013 at 9:45 am #


  4. smr June 22, 2013 at 12:48 pm #

    This is ridiculous, and cruel. a TASER is one thing if the dog attacks, and hitting the poor animal in the face and making him bleed and screwing up his eye is another… and why was the officer in the backyard??? The note should have been served at the front door like every other notice… the sheriff is safe cause he is part of the law… Thats pathetic. Funny, i saw a sheriff the other day with one headlight out, i wonder if he got pulled like everyone else??? NOPE!

  5. MB June 22, 2013 at 5:26 pm #

    This does not surprise me considering the Law Enforcement in that community. I lived in Carteret County for a bit and the officers there, both Local PD and Sheriff’s Department had a major “Robo Cop” power trip complex.
    The Crystal Coast is not what it use to be.

  6. Ashley June 22, 2013 at 7:53 pm #

    Why was the cop in the backyard with the dog? Its a called a front door…

  7. Martha June 23, 2013 at 9:24 am #

    This is ashame this had to happen like this to a harmless dog that was tied to a tree.Don,t make any sense!!! The deputy should have used better judgement.

  8. Grey McCormick June 23, 2013 at 1:56 pm #

    Det. Cooper should be placed on administrative leave while a complete investigation is conducted by a neutral party. I would definitely contact one of the animal rights group and let their powerful group take over. Why was a detective delivering an arrest warrant for failure to appear? Aren’t detectives supposed to be investigating unsolved crimes, current drug operations, etc. Why was he in your backyard? If he saw the dog was on a chain, did he not have the ability to estimate the length of the chain and hence stay outside the area of the dog’s reach. Keep at it and report it to John Stoessel or Heraldo. Looks like a good storfor national tv I definitely would take the matter to Small Claims Court to recoup your financial losses. Remember Asa Buck and Scott Thomas both are elected officials. So, you should conduct a major campaign against their reelection!!!

  9. Sue Ammons June 23, 2013 at 10:19 pm #

    I think the law enforcement officer should have seen Merlin was on a chain and not been suI ch a chicken that he would go close enough to hurt him. Animal cruelty is animal cruelty whether there is a badge involved or not. I think he should have to pay the vet bills personally and also be brought up on animal cruelty charges.

  10. Redneck Deputy June 24, 2013 at 11:30 pm #

    Ya’ll are mindfucked !!!! He could have just shot the dog ! He chose to give it a chance to survive ! If You have never had to deal with serving warants then Shut The Fuck Up !! We Protect Your Stupid Asses Taking Scum Off the Streets Every Day and when Serving Warrants The back Door has to be covered because Most People Who Have Warrants Are Not Going To the Front Door They Are Running Out The Back Door !! I have had dogs in back yards act like My best freind until the gate closes and then they turn into crazed animals ! As well as never seen them until the last minute ! Before You Condem this Man Know Your Facts ! Why Did The Warrantee Not Show Up To Court ?????? Why Does He Have A Dog Tied up in a Fenced in Yard ??? FUCKTARDS !!!!!

    • Melissa June 25, 2013 at 2:46 am #

      You cannot be a Deputy! If so no wonder things like that are happening in Carteret County! Really this is what Asa is hiring?

    • Shane June 25, 2013 at 9:00 am #

      You write and spell like the ignorant and uneducated degenerate you are. It was a hunting ticket you inbred cunt…learn how to spell!

    • Oath Keeper June 25, 2013 at 9:11 am #

      You don’t protect a damn thing. Warrant servers, fucking lackeys more like it. Police clean up after crime is done, and most cops are useless pieces of shit.

    • redneck June 25, 2013 at 12:50 pm #

      This redneck deputy Is suffering from tinypenis syndrome don’t mind him his job makes him forget about his tiny the way if u don’t want ur dog digging holes or jumping the fence to escape u tie them up

    • JFM June 25, 2013 at 12:59 pm #

      Well if the warrant was felonious or for bank robbery , sure yeah cover the back. It was a simple game and fishing charge. The dog was probably tied up out back to oh I don’t know use the bathroom like most people do with their dogs, and this is Cartert County not Mecklenberg or any major area.

    • Donna June 25, 2013 at 3:31 pm #

      Wow, and this individual is protecting us? He also states that he is a self proclaimed “Redneck Deputy”, maybe we need to re-evaluate who serves this county at the next election.Wrong is wrong, lets show them that at the next election.

      “The Blue Code of Silence (also known as the Blue Shield, Blue Wall, Curtain, Veil, or Cocoon, is an unwritten rule among police officers in the United States not to report on another colleague’s errors, misconducts, or crimes. If questioned about an incident of misconduct involving another officer (e.g. during the course of an official inquiry), while following the code, the officer being questioned would claim ignorance of another officer’s wrongdoing.”

      • James King August 21, 2013 at 7:45 pm #

        Too many forget it is against the law for an individual who is an officer and is aware of a crime; and then not to report it and to go so far as to assist in the crime by their silence or false statements is also committing a crime and it is a felony. Same with other officers of the court too!

        Never forget your oath or the law, if you do then you are a criminal too!

    • your worst nightmare June 25, 2013 at 7:00 pm #

      either you have the balls to serve warrants right, or you need a new line of work. if you pass through a gate, not “normal curtalliage” defined by where a delivery person would normally go, you are an armed felon in my yard, i suggest you follow orders to disarm or you WILL be shot as an armed violent felon, your badge dosn’t grant extra rights, idiot, cops like you ARE the problem. unfortunatly, not enough cops get caught in the act and shot, or we wouldn’t have this problem, as it disgraces every good cop out there. this cop, and those like you that violate our rights are the “Scum Off the Streets” and are more dangerous to the average citizen than any criminal

    • dog lover June 26, 2013 at 4:30 pm #

      Redneck Deputy,

      You are a prime example as to why CCSD needs a good cleaning up and clearing out. I for one am tired of paying the salary of creeps like you. Grow up and get a real education and maybe one of the local fast food restaurants will hire you? Not sure though because I think these days they expect their employees to have a Bachelors degree. To me you sound like and depict yourself as a good ole boy that didn’t get out of Davis very often until you went back and got yourself a bonafide edjumucation in the form of a GED and 3 month BLET course….. roflmbo

    • Ploffmeister July 2, 2013 at 1:25 pm #

      “Why does he have a dog tied up in a fenced in yard?”

      Whoah, you’re not going to make detective anytime soon are you Sherlock? Where was he supposed to keep it tied up, in his pants?

    • Mike higgs July 2, 2013 at 9:11 pm #

      You protect Our stupid Asses I don’t think so Your always too busy handing out tickets for stupid ass shit. Like the rest. Like all fucktard Cops Like you, that think you get a free pass for whatever You do. Maybe it was tied up because It like to get out of the year Bone head. And maybe the dogs turn into crazed animals because they KNOW YOUR ASS does not belong THERE. And MR Redneck Deputy if you did that to my dog YOU would not have to worry about me complaining You would just have to worry about me beating your ass.

    • joe July 3, 2013 at 8:36 am #

      i work as a phone repair man. dealt with alot of dogs in people’s yards. i also served as an airborne infantryman, and served as the marshall for my town for two years. so i have some experience with this kinda thing.
      a dog roaming loose? i could understand. TOTALLY. the tied up thing makes me nervous. i always go into a situation while on other’s property knowing that the animals there are quite likely to be territorial. i also try to call people before i get there, and i look for signs of animals when i get to the residence. that being said, some people will lie to your face. and if you are are law enforcement, that opens up another whole can of worms as far as how people act. STILL, people’s rights must be protected and respected; at all times. it is a difficult line to walk, and i am glad i dont have to walk it these days.

    • Melanie patton April 21, 2014 at 12:22 am #

      Because of idiots like you too chicken shit to man up with your identity. Same deputy is up SHIT CREEK AGAIN! YOU ARE PROBABLY CCSD CAUSE THATS JUST HOW THOSE PUSSY COWARDS ROLL! I can’t wait to campaign against that crew this election year. Your narcissistic post shows EXACTLY how dangerous you gutless fucking wonders are! I bet you are about 5’2″ with a Big ole pickup full if guns to compensate for your obvious lack of intelligence and girth….my money says you have no relationship because you are abusive, both verbally and physically ,controlling, self centered with lots of selfies with your big guns, truck and teeny tiny penis!

    • Eastern nc girl April 21, 2014 at 2:50 pm #

      I hope your not a deputy speaking that way. You sound illiterate and the vulgar language is completely unneccesary. However I have served warrants and I grew up in a home I which my mother worked for the police department for 25 years. There is no excuse for the amount of injuries the dog had recieved. If the dog was violent towards strangers the owner had done the right thing by chaining it and having it in a fenced in yard. I could understand pushing the dog away while running in the other direction l. Instead he choose to pull a tazer out on the dog and beat it with something in the face.

      However things can happen In the heat of things. Where someone can act unreasonably. So for that reason alone I do believe punishment is necessary and all bills should be paid but I do not believe that this man should be locked away.
      Unpaid suspension, Desk work only for several months, or something along those lines.

    • Citizen April 22, 2014 at 11:22 pm #

      I think the name you chose to post under says more about you mental stability than you might have wanted to reveal. If not for that, your language and tone says more than I care to know. It seems obvious to me by the way you write that people like you don’t need to be serving warrants and protecting people. People so moved to anger by people showing a little concern for a life other than their own terrify me. So, since you seem so concerned with facts let me ask a few questions of my own. Why would a detective serving a warrant alone cover the back door? Have you ever owned a dog? Did you know that a simple chain link fence doesn’t always keep a dog in the back yard? Did you know that if an idiot officer see’s an animal in your backyard he has full rights to shoot it? I’d keep my animal away from the fence line too if he was an outdoor animal in an area that condones injury to defenseless animals.

  11. Chris ODell June 25, 2013 at 12:35 am #

    Please tell me you are truly not in any type of law enforcement. With that justification and that mouth, you are exactly what is wrong with “cops”, people with badges that have this mindset do not deserve to be called police officers. Seriously, logic; if you are serving that warrant alone one door is always uncovered. Talk about knowing your facts, there is no fence. Your response makes you sound uneducated and ridiculous; really you want us to think this is all okay because he chose not to shot the dog. Is it that difficult to back away from the dog and leave?
    Protect us from armed scum but can’t handle a dog? Pathetic, if you are an example of those that serve and protect I’m truly frightened.

    • JFM June 25, 2013 at 1:04 pm #

      I agree with you Chris. I work as a Security Officer, I’ve done work in Charlotte in some of the shadiest areas with no gun, no taser, and a uniform that looked like CMPD. Even during our basic training we are taught all of these things, also when I went through BLET, we learned those basic facts.

    • Cuequeen June 25, 2013 at 9:46 pm #

      I’m horrified by how cops have gotten worse..n my kids are terrified of cops. And I’m severely concerned bout it bcuz if my children were ever in trouble, a cop would b the last person they’d go to. Yet should b the first..I’ve nvr met a decent human being in a police uniform in all of my 36 yrs. (Even plain clothes). Disgusting. Their egos inflated..god complex..immunity cuz they wear a badge. Beatin up old ladys. tasing n shooting family pets..etc..If i were these folks…I keep fightin n fightin to get justice. Even if it is futile. so maybe..jus maybe other ppl won’t sit by n do nothing if this happens to them..Maybe..jus maybe lil by lil we can start changing things n make law enforcement accountable for their actions, as we are.

  12. Shane June 25, 2013 at 8:57 am #

    In all situations, you should produce the full names (if possible) of all parties involved…for you never know when ANONYMOUS will make their presence known.

  13. Pirate News June 25, 2013 at 10:09 am #

    All cops are career criminals and terrorists, according to THE LAW.

  14. Joe June 25, 2013 at 2:33 pm #

    Yea You cant even leave a comment regarding how sick that sheriffs dept is.Shooting a dog on a leash…How cowardly.I wanna try shooing one of thier children in the backyard while theyu are on leashes and see how they feel about that…

  15. Chuck June 26, 2013 at 4:50 pm #

    You must be a cop; you were probably bullied in school and now think your authority allows you to lord it over others and get even with the whole world. There is no excuse for harming a chained animal that is just cowardly. You and your fellow cops are the ones with a fucked-up attitude!

  16. Vic July 2, 2013 at 1:22 pm #

    Why was he going into the backyard without another officer present? If he saw the dog chained up and was still afraid, perhaps he should have called animal control to subdue the dog without the use of force so he could serve his paperwork.. or better yet.. USE THE FRONT DOOR. A warrant for arrest is not a warrant to beat a dog or trespass.

  17. Victim January 17, 2014 at 12:13 pm #

    I feel ur pain, anger, and sorrow…
    I was maced and beat up while I was handcuffed and shackled…
    As The One God my witness.

  18. pitbull60 June 8, 2014 at 9:47 pm #

    Here is what you do. File a Commercial Lien on Det. Cooper for damages for not following his oath of protecting the public. This will put a freeze on all his assets and credit functions. The lien can only be settled by a jury trial and must be decided in 30 days and a lawyer is not needed for this. No Judge or official can dismiss this or act on it and the decision of the jury is final. Research this.

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