Ramsey County K-9 handler charged with animal cruelty

Security video from the Black Bear Casino shows a Ramsey County K-9 handler hitting a public safety dog and throwing it to the ground, according to charges announced Friday by the Carlton County sheriff's office.

Brett Arthur Berry, 48, is charged with two misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty and assaulting a public safety dog for the June 15 incident at the Carlton, Minn. casino. Berry was in town with numerous K-9 handlers for training and certification.

According to the criminal complaint, Black Bear security called the Carlton County sheriff's office to request assistance in dealing with a reported case of animal cruelty involving a hotel guest. Security staff had a previous interaction with Berry at the Cobalt Lounge, and had asked him to leave the premises.

Security video showed Berry returning to his hotel room, then walking out 5 minutes later with his dog. The dog was brought to the casino parking lot, where Berry was seen scolding the K-9 before picking it up by the collar and throwing it to the ground. The dog ran away and went back into the casino, but became trapped between two sets of entry doors. Berry then caught up to the K-9 and repeatedly struck the dog.