WHITE LAKE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WXYZ) - The 22-year-old man accused of killing a family's German Shepherd with a baseball bat is getting death threats, according to White Lake Township Police Lieutenant Adam Kline, who also told 7 Action News that members of the police department are getting similar threats.
Lt. Kline says most of the threats have been made online.
"We encourage people to calm down a little bit. Let us complete our investigation. It is prudent to do a complete investigation in this manner. I know people are upset we didn't make an immediate arrest, but we want to make sure we have everything before we do anything like that," said Kline.
After Duke's owners told their side of the story, their neighbors began getting threats to burn their house down. The windows were smashed on one of their vehicles.
Someone who resides with the man who had the bat told 7 Action News that on Monday their side of the story will be told and they believe public opinion will change.
The German Shepherd, Duke, died late Tuesday morning after he reportedly left his family's backyard and ran to the front of the neighbor's house where Duke and their dog began to fight.
The neighbor's dog was on a leash. Duke was not tied up and his owner, Linda Lorenzen, says she was watching him in the backyard, but that he ran to the front of the houses when she stepped away for a moment.
Lorenzen says she saw the neighbor hit Duke with the bat about 25 times. The neighbor reportedly told police that Duke bit him and that he only struck him twice.
Police have interviewed witnesses and are waiting on results from a necropsy that may determine if the neighbor used excessive or appropriate force.