This Air Force Vet Was Trying to Save His Dog’s Life; Now He’s Facing Felony Charges

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A dog-loving Air Force veteran was arrested in Chicago when he slugged a cop trying to stop him from barging into his burning house to save his trapped pooch.
Samuel Lee Bassett, 48, was charged with two counts of felony aggravated battery on a police officer and resisting an officer, according to a Chicago Tribune article, and released on $300,000 bail.

Firefighters were engaged in fighting the Jan. 2 blaze that they believe began in the basement of Bassett’s South Side home. The mid-afternoon inferno caused three overcome firefighters to be transported to area hospitals, but that didn’t stop Bassett. He still tried to enter the structure several times to rescue his dog, according to court records, after being told by authorities it wasn’t safe.

After Bassett reportedly refused to listen to authorities, one cop attempted an arrest and managed to cuff one of Bassett’s hands, the Chicago Tribune reported, when Bassett allegedly struck the officer with his fist. Another policeman on the scene, attempting to subdue the dog lover, hit Bassett with a pair of handcuffs. A mark from the cuffs can be seen in Bassett’s mugshot.

Neither Bassett nor the officer he struck were seriously injured during the altercation, according to officials. The dog didn’t survive the fire; police told the Chicago Tribune the body of a large dog was found in the house after the fire was extinguished.

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