The Flagstaff Police officer who bludgeoned, stomped and strangled an injured dog on Aug. 19 in an attempt to euthanize it has resigned from the department.
According to information from police officials, Tewes delivered his letter of resignation on Friday.
The letter, addressed to Police Chief Kevin Treadway, in its entirety states: "Please accept this as the notice of my intention to leave the department in order to pursue further opportunities. Thank you for the opportunity to work for this agency."
Prosecutors recently announced they did not have sufficient evidence to pursue criminal charges in the incident, which took place in Sunnyside. The police department was in the middle of an internal affairs investigation of possibile violations by Tewes of department policy.
The department has had a longstanding policy that requires injured wildlife be euthanized with either a sidearm or shotgun. In addition, its protocols call for either the Humane Association or an animal control officer to be contacted if an injured animal cannot be dispatched in the field.
In a media release issued on Monday, police officials said they had revised departmental policy and improved training to make sure such an incident never happens again.
Tewes was called after another officer hit a loose dog with his police car Aug. 19. Tewes and the other officer decided the dog needed to be euthanized, but Tewes was concerned about using his gun in the neighborhood.
According to a Coconino County Sheriff's Office investigative report, Tewes repeatedly tried to bludgeon the dog to death, but it didn't die. He then tried to cave in its skull by jumping on its skull, but that also didn't kill the animal. Finally, he used a hobble, which is like a metal cable, to try to strangle the dog. It took several tries before the dog died, and the entire event lasted 20 to 30 minutes.
Tewes told investigators he regularly clubbed animals to end their suffering while he was hunting, and he thought he would be able to kill the dog quickly with his baton. He told investigators he didn't ask other officers for advice about other methods because he thought he knew how to do it.
Eric Betz can be reached at 556-2250 or firstname.lastname@example.org.