Police charge county man with stealing woman’s service dog

Published 5:33 pm Monday, May 7, 2018

A Carter County man faces multiple charges after police say he stole a service dog from a woman and then assaulted officers who responded to investigate the reported theft.

Deputies of the Carter County Sheriff’s Department arrested Michael Vest, 44, 109 Town View Estates, Elizabethton, early Monday morning and charged him with aggravated assault, resisting arrest, vandalism of government property over $1,000, and theft of property.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

According to a police report, around 3 a.m. on Monday deputies responded to the apartments at 109 Town View Estates after a 911 caller reported someone had stolen her service dog.

When deputies arrived, they spoke with a woman who said Vest had stolen her service dog and taken it into his apartment.

CCSO Deputy Christian Carrier said he then went to Vest’s apartment to speak with him about the dog.

“I then asked Mr. Vest about the dog in question, and Mr. Vest became visibly upset and stated ‘It’s none of your business. It’s a civil issue,’” Carrier said. “Mr. Vest then slammed the front door while screaming out ‘I’m going to get a gun and shoot you (racial slur).’”

“Due to previous incidents involving Mr. Vest, I believed this to be a real threat on our lives,” Carrier added.

The deputies then entered Vest’s apartment, and Carrier said Vest then “charged” at the officers with a black object in his right hand. After a struggle, officers were able to restrain Vest and place him into handcuffs, according to the police report.

“Upon leaving the residence, Mr. Vest continued to be physically combative,” Carrier said. “While I was walking Mr. Vest to my cruiser, Mr. Vest turned and attempted to grab my service pistol.”

After another struggle, officers were able to escort Vest to a police vehicle, but when they arrived at the car, Carrier said Vest kicked the driver’s side rear quarter panel which caused damage to the sheet metal and paint.

Carrier said the woman’s dog, which was valued over $1,000, was recovered and returned to its owner.