Las Vegas man puts K9 in chokehold, police say

Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, K-9 unit (Las Vegas Review-Journal)

A man put a police service dog in a chokehold Sunday morning and set a fire inside of a building near downtown, police documents show.

Prosecutors charged Wesley Sivac, 38, this week with first-degree arson, burglary and mistreatment of a police animal in a weekend break-in to a business. There, he put Bear, a police service dog, in a chokehold with one arm and held a metal flagpole up against Bear’s throat with his other arm, Sivac’s arrest report said.

“(The dog’s handler) could see Bear’s eye bulging out from the pressure of being strangled by the suspect,” the report said.

Whether the dog was injured was unclear from the report.

Police received word a man was on the roof of a business about 11:35 p.m. Saturday on the 700 block of South Ninth Street, but had since left. Arriving officers found the man, whom they later identified as Sivac, on the second-floor balcony of another business on the 700 block of South Eighth Street. He disobeyed officer commands to come down.

About 12:50 a.m. Sunday, after about 50 minutes of officers speaking with Sivac, he entered the building from the balcony.

K-9 officers entered the building about 1:15 a.m. and found Sivac in a room on the building’s west side. The police report said Sivac choked Bear while his K-9 handler tried to take Sivac into custody.

A fire alarm went off as the K-9 officers entered the building, and one of the officers smelled smoke.

Fire crews doused a fire in second-floor file room. The arrest report said fire investigators found a lighter inside the room and Sivac was the only person inside the business.

Police found Sivac with a backpack, desk phone and extension cord, all belonging to the business.

Sivac remained in the Clark County Detention Center on Wednesday night. His bail was set at $33,000.

Mike Shoro at or. Follow on Twitter.

700 block of South Eighth Street, Las Vegas

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