Utah man charged with attempted murder after he reportedly stabbed dog and its owner when the animal sniffed him

A Utah man is in jail after police say he stabbed a dog and the dog’s owner after the animal sniffed him.

Police were called to a LaVerkin residence Saturday afternoon and found a man bleeding from the head and neck and the dog “severely bleeding” from the neck. The victim told the officer his dog sniffed his 27-year-old neighbor and his wife, according to jail documents, and he told the suspect not to touch his dog.

The suspect then “pulled a knife from his pocket and stabbed the dog,” an officer wrote in a probable cause statement. The victim said he pushed the suspect up against a wall and the man “came straight down on his head with a knife” — which he said had a 4- to 5-inch blade — and then stabbed him in the neck.

The victim was taken to a local hospital; the dog was taken to an emergency veterinarian. The pet owner told police that, according to the vet, "if the stab wound had been any deeper, the dog would have died.” Both the victim and his dog will survive their wounds, according to the police statement.

The suspect was arrested nearby after police say he tried to run away. He had blood on his hand, according to police, and he told officers he’d cut himself with his knife “a few days” earlier.

The suspect told police that the other man had called him names, which escalated into an argument, and the two began punching each other. He claimed the victim pulled out a knife and he disarmed him. The suspect denied stabbing the man or his dog, but admitted he held the knife to the victim’s throat and claimed the victim “forced himself onto the knife … cutting his own throat.”

Asked why he had not reported the incident, the suspect said he is “terrified of the police" because of negative past experiences. He has been charged in Fifth District Court with attempted murder, a first-degree felony; and misdemeanor charges of animal cruelty and possession of a dangerous weapon by a restricted person.

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