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Cops: Convicted dog-beater strikes again

MANATEE — After a little more than a month of freedom, Henry Sailes is behind bars again on the same charge that landed him in prison in the first place: Beating a police dog.

Manatee County Sheriff’s Office deputies arrested Sailes on a battery charge early Wednesday after deputies say he punched and choked a K-9 during a pursuit. The dog was able to bite Sailes three times before deputies took him into custody.

Sailes, 41, was released from prison in February, after serving almost 7 years for kicking a sheriff’s police dog in 2002.

Dave Bristow, spokesman for the sheriff’s office, said harming a K-9 dog is considered just as serious as attacking a deputy.

“It is exactly the same,” said Bristow. “Although a K-9 is going to respond a little different than a human deputy, as he found out. You would think he would have learned his lesson from the last time.”

Deputies say Sailes ran from a stolen vehicle after a traffic stop at about 1 a.m. Wednesday in the 5600 block of Seventh Street Court East. Several other men also ran from the vehicle, which detectives believe may have been used in a home invasion earlier that night, Bristow said.

A sheriff’s helicopter later located Sailes, and a sheriff’s K-9 deputy chased Sailes and ordered him to surrender. Sailes refused and the dog was released.

During a scuffle with the dog, Sailes punched and choked the animal, cutting the dog above its right eye. Deputies were soon able to take Sailes into custody and arrest him on charges of battery on a police dog and resisting arrest.

The dog did not require medical attention, Bristow said.

Sailes’ possible involvement in the home invasion was still being investigated. However, he also faces a charge of violating the terms of his release from prison in February.

In 2002, a judge sentenced Sailes to 8 years in prison for kicking a sheriff’s K-9 and for battery on a law enforcement officer. Court records say Sailes ran from deputies after a traffic stop and was chased by a police dog.

Sailes kicked the dog, knocking the animal to the ground but not for long. The dog got back up and bit Sailes before deputies arrested him.

No one was injured in the home invasion robbery late Tuesday, during which two victims were locked in a bedroom as several armed men ransacked a house in the 3000 block of 25th Street West. They fled with computer and stereo equipment valued at about $1,800, according to the sheriff’s office.

No arrests have been made in the case.