Prosperity Man Arrested for Shooting Police Dog

LEXINGTON, S.C. – A local man from Prosperity, James Robert Peterson, 37, has been arrested and charged in connection with the fatal shooting of a police dog during an incident with law enforcement officers last week. The shooting took place while Newberry County deputies and agents from the State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) were attempting to apprehend Peterson.

Peterson faces multiple serious charges, including cruelty to a police dog, breach of peace, possession of a weapon by a convicted felon, resisting arrest with a deadly weapon, and four counts of pointing and presenting a firearm at an individual, according to official arrest warrants.

Lexington County Sheriff Jay Koon stated, “Our investigation began on June 11, the day the incident occurred, at the request of the involved agencies.” Sheriff Koon added, “After a detailed review and in consultation with Eighth Judicial Circuit Solicitor David Stumbo, we determined these charges were necessary due to Peterson’s actions during the encounter with Newberry County deputies and SLED agents as they attempted to arrest him on a felony warrant on Gravel Road in Prosperity.”

The charges include cruelty to a police dog after Peterson allegedly shot SLED K-9 Coba with a shotgun as the dog attempted to apprehend him. Following the shooting of K-9 Coba, Peterson reportedly aimed the shotgun at four law enforcement officers, which resulted in additional charges for pointing and presenting a firearm.

Given that the incident took place in Newberry County, Solicitor David Stumbo will be responsible for prosecuting the charges against Peterson. Peterson is currently held at the Newberry County Detention Center.

As in all criminal cases, it’s important to remember that under the United States Constitution, Peterson is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

The incident highlights the risks faced by law enforcement and their K-9 partners in the line of duty and the serious legal repercussions for those who harm them.