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Portland man arrested after barking at dog

The Associated Press

PORTLAND, Maine A man who barked at a police dog inside a parked patrol car was detained and ordered to appear in court on a charge of taunting the German shepherd.

Johnny Mathis, 20, said he didn't mean to cause trouble when the dog, Zedo, began barking on Saturday and he barked back.

''I had finished barking. I had stopped barking, and the police still arrested me,'' Mathis said.

Police said Mathis and a friend started the incident by teasing Zedo with their barking. After a policeman warned them that teasing the dog was illegal, Mathis continued barking, police Sgt. Steve Plympton said.

''A dog is a trained animal, a police tool,'' said Police Chief Michael Chitwood. ''God forbid somebody does anything to agitate a dog.''

''A dog can go through the window,'' Chitwood said. ''It could create a bad situation. Instead of being a taunter, the guy could quickly become a victim.''

Mathis was taken to jail and held about an hour.

Man in Santa suit robs restaurant

The Associated Press

BAYTOWN, Texas A Santa Claus outfit provided a disguise for an armed man to rob a truck stop restaurant of more than $5,000 in a ''Season's Greetings'' bag.

But the red suit and white beard did not make for a successful getaway.

The robber, who stole a taxi as he fled late Monday night, was chased by restaurant patrons and eventually captured by police. Frank Sidney Smith, a 35-year-old former employee of the restaurant, faced aggravated robbery charges yesterday, detective Gene Sutton said

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