A man accused of forcing a police dog into oncoming traffic will go to drug rehabilitation instead of prison, Camden County Prosecutor Warren W. Faulk said.
Faulk and Gloucester Township Police Chief Harry Earle say the man will avoid time in prison due to a new law that offers drug rehabilitation as an alternative to incarceration.
The man, 22-year-old Skyler Robinson, was scheduled to go to trial next week on several charges, including two counts of Injury to Law Enforcement Animals, the prosecutor said. Police say the charges stem from a November 2010 robbery.
Police say an officer who responded to the robbery was forced to release his K-9 partner after Robinson allegedly refused to stop running. When the K-9 officer caught up with him, police say Robinson and the K-9 were involved in a struggle that led to the dog being thrown into oncoming traffic.
The K-9 officer was hit by passing cars and died at the scene.
The new law took effect on January 19th and allows offenders who face 2nd degree charges to be eligible for the program.
Faulk's office says it opposed Robinson's entry into the program, but under the new statute, it no longer has the authority to deny a defendant's application to Drug Court.