RANTOUL — Authorities have heard conflicting reports of what happened Sept. 26 when three dogs allegedly attacked a smaller dog and killed it in Rantoul.
Laotis L. Buckley, 44, of the 1400 block of Kessler Drive was issued a village complaint for dangerous or vicious dogs. Buckley is scheduled to appear Thursday at the Rantoul municipal building on the charge. If found guilty, Buckley will be required to muzzle the dogs when he is out walking them.
Several witnesses said they heard Buckley tell his dogs to “get em, get em” when they attacked the dog and that he recorded the incident on his cell phone. They said he did not show remorse about the death of the dog.
Buckley, however, told police he did not tell his dogs, which are a pit bull, a canecorso and a pit bull mix, to attack the other dog and filmed only the end of the attack to show that his dogs were on a leash.
The dog that was attacked was not on a leash and had gone across the street to a vacant lot in the 1600 block of Eater Drive to go to the bathroom.
Buckley said the poodle was trying to attack him, and his dogs were defending him.
Several witnesses said they and their dogs had had run-ins with Buckley and his dogs in the past, and said his dogs were aggressive, according to Rantoul police.
A police report obtained by the Press following a Freedom of Information Act request said when police and Animal Control Officer Danny Russell arrived, several neighbors and Buckley were at the scene and were arguing. The dead small poodle was lying on the sidewalk on the south side of Eater.
The report said one resident told police Buckley had been walking his dogs past her residence the day before and got into an argument with her because Buckley’s dogs starting fighting each other after her dog started barking at them. She said Buckley got upset because she thought it was funny that Buckley could not control his dogs and that they were fighting.
“Buckley told (the woman) that his dogs would eat her dog for lunch,” officer Bradley Saltsgaver’s report said.
The attack against the poodle, which belonged to another neighbor, happened the next day.
The report indicated the woman said she suspected Buckley might have thought the poodle was her dog that had barked at his three dogs the evening before.
Several witnesses said during and after the attack, Buckley repeatedly said of his dogs, “They’re on a leash! They’re on a leash!”
Buckley later told police he wanted to file a report against the owner of the other dog because it was not on a leash. He said the poodle ran up to his dogs and bit them first.
He said one of the witnesses was calling him names the day before and said she would shoot him, according to the report. He denied he had told his dogs to get the poodle.
Police officer Dustin Morgan said Buckley told him he was more of a dog lover than a people lover.
“He told me if I was in the road with a dog and a car was coming, he would run out into harm’s way and save the dog but allow me to perish because that’s how much he loves dogs. He then clarified his statement and told me it wasn’t me personally he would allow to be hit by a car but any adult. He then clarified his statement more by telling me he would save a small child before the dog but reiterated he would not save the adult.”