K9 at center of controversy returned to department - KMOV.com

K9 at center of controversy returned to department

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K-9 at center of controversy returned to department. K-9 at center of controversy returned to department.

A police K-9 is now back in the possession of city employees after officials in one north St. Louis County town claimed his handler was refusing to return him.

Tuesday, News 4 learned Joel Fields had been fired from the Bel-Ridge police department.

Documents now show he is also being sued by another local town for fraud.

Fields and the friendly yellow lab had been featured in national news stories. The dog, known as “Luke” had reportedly been rescued by then-officer Fields.

Since then, though, people like dog trainer Brad Croft have called Fields a liar.

“Joel was told from the day I handed him the leash of the dog that this was not a shelter dog,” Croft said.

Even paperwork uncovered shows the dogs actual name is "Lyon."

He was returned to the department Thursday evening by Fields' wife, after Fields initially refused to hand him over.

News 4 has learned that troubles continue, though, for Fields and his gun store business Defensor Tactical in Valley Park.

The business has an "F" rating from the BBB.

Documents show liens have been filed against Fields for back taxes in the past.

And a law suit filed by University City in March claims the city paid close to $6,600 in tax money to Fields' business back in July of last year for protective vests for the city's firefighters.

To date, they haven't received them. University City is accusing Fields of breach of contract and fraud.

An attorney for Fields says the business intends to deliver University City's merchandise shortly and that we will be worked out.

The attorney says Fields believed the dog would be donated to him, contractually, and that a lot of what's been told to us has been misrepresented.

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