Steven Seagal: I'm No Puppy Killer
Steven Seagal is refuting the claim that he killed a puppy during an Arizona raid that was filmed for his A&E reality series, Steven Seagal: Lawman.
He said in a statement released by the Maricopa County Sheriff's Department Thursday, "I've been called a lot of things in my career, some of them not so kind. But to be labeled an animal abuser is beyond the pale and that is simply a role I will not accept."
Jesus Sanchez Llovera filed an official notice of claim, the first step toward a lawsuit, earlier this week saying that his 11-month-old puppy was shot and killed during the raid and that police also killed more than 100 of his roosters. Seagal arrived to the scene in a tank.
The Sheriff's Department refuted Llovera's claims, "No dog was even injured, much less killed, during the operation. In fact, no firearm was discharged during the course of this operation. According to witnesses at the raid, a dog was present on Jesus Llovera’s property when deputies and SWAT team members, of whom Seagal was one, entered the premises with a search warrant to arrest Llovera on cockfighting charges and seize all evidence pertaining to the crime."
Both Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, a law enforcement figure best known for his strong stance against illegal immigrants, and Seagal contend that Llovera and his attorney Joseph Campos are fabricating the puppy killing as a way to gain attention to their lawsuit and to escalate the potential settlement amount.
"Llovera wants money and his attorney wants notoriety,” Seagal says. “Just look at Campos’ website and the first thing you see is his 15 minutes of fame on Inside Edition talking about this.”
The Sheriff's Department also said that A&E and Seagal have been "inundated" with harassing calls concerning the incident. At the time of the raid, Seagal told a local news station, "Animal cruelty is one of my pet peeves."