New Jersey

Florida Man Accused of Siccing Dog on Cops During Stop Dies After Seizure in Custody

The man initially refused to pull over while allegedly driving drunk, then let his pit bull off its chain after police who stopped him warned him not to

NBC 4 New York

A Florida man who allegedly released his dog on police officers during a traffic stop in New Jersey has died after he apparently suffered a seizure while in custody, authorities said.

John Baker, 54, of Spring Lake, Florida, was in an intake unit at the Passaic County Jail when he became ill Tuesday night, authorities said. He was taken to a hospital but was pronounced dead there a short time later.

The cause of death remains under investigation, authorities said.

Baker had faced numerous charges after a series of events that began Monday when Wanaque police tried to stop a tractor-trailer he was driving. When Baker — who allegedly was driving drunk — refused to stop, Ringwood police also responded and forced him to stop the truck.

Baker eventually let the dog off its chain during the stop despite warnings from police, authorities said. One officer fired one shot at the pit bull as it lunged at them, while another fired four or five times, authorities said. The first shot that hit the dog did not stop it, but the animal eventually died.

No officers were injured.

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