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Man charged with biting Las Vegas police dog days after prior incident

Updated September 22, 2021 - 1:03 pm

Las Vegas police arrested a 24-year-old man this month after he allegedly bit a police dog — less than two weeks after a similar incident in the city.

Officers arrested Kupono Palakiko-Leffew on Sept. 9 after officers received a report of a man “maliciously destroying property” on the 1300 block of Laguna Drive, near Karen Avenue and Maryland Parkway, according to a Metropolitan Police Department arrest report. While police were attempting to arrest him, a police dog bit him on the arm, and Palakiko-Leffew bit the dog back.

The suspect also is accused of kicking officers who were attempting to arrest him. He has been charged with a felony count of mistreating a police animal, and three gross misdemeanor counts of battery on a protected person, court records show.

When police first arrived at the scene, Palakiko-Leffew was outside a home pulling weeds and throwing rocks. He then walked into the road, sat down in the street and “kept talking to himself” while not listening to officers, according to the arrest report.

Palakiko-Leffew then walked to a different house, where officers attempted to detain him, the report said. He began kicking at officers, who then released the police dog.

While the dog was biting Palakiko-Leffew, he bit the dog on the back of the neck. The officer who wrote the arrest report indicated it was unknown if the dog was injured.

Palakiko-Leffew was eventually arrested and booked into the Clark County Detention Center. He remained in jail on Wednesday with a $3,000 bail, court records show.

A preliminary hearing in the case is scheduled for Tuesday.

The week before Palakiko-Leffew’s arrest, Las Vegas police also arrested a 28-year-old man accused of biting a police dog in a separate incident.

Carl Duncan was arrested on Aug. 30 after police were called to the Pinnacle Apartments, on the 4300 block of Las Vegas Boulevard North, by a man who said Duncan threatened and chased him with a knife during an argument. When police found Duncan about an hour later, he brandished a knife and lunged at an officer, according to Duncan’s arrest report.

A police dog then bit Duncan on his left arm as he took the man to the ground, prompting Duncan to bite back, the report said.

On Monday, Duncan pleaded guilty to a gross misdemeanor battery on an officer charge in District Court. He was sentenced to 90 days in the Clark County Detention Center, with 22 days credit for time served, court records show.

Contact Katelyn Newberg at knewberg@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0240. Follow @k_newberg on Twitter.