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Traveler charged with abusing Chihuahua at Las Vegas airport

Updated October 31, 2017 - 8:55 am

A man was arrested on an animal abuse charge after police said he dragged his Chihuahua through McCarran International Airport.

According to court documents, a Las Vegas Metropolitan Police officer responded to a commotion on Friday while patrolling the B gates at Terminal 1 at McCarran.

The officer reported she saw a group of people trying to stop a man who was walking quickly through the terminal while dragging a dog behind him on a leash.

The dog, a 7-pound Chihuahua named Chase, was on its side and could not stand up until the officer stopped the man, according to his arrest report.

David Updike, 50, was booked into the Clark County Detention Center on one charge of willfully or maliciously torturing, maiming or killing an animal.

Police and airport officials detained Updike because he was yelling and causing a disturbance, the report states. Officers from Metro’s anti-cruelty unit arrived at the airport to speak with Updike and take custody of Chase.

Updike, who is hard of hearing, told police through an interpreter that he was frustrated because he missed his flight while using the restroom. When he stormed away from the gate, the report states, Chase couldn’t keep up and was dragged by the neck.

According to the arrest report, police also discovered Updike had four active warrants, including one for a previous animal abuse charge. He also had a “leafy green substance suspected to be marijuana” in his bag, which was impounded.

Chase was taken to Desert Inn Animal Hospital for treatment. Kelly Leahy, a spokeswoman for the Animal Foundation, confirmed Friday morning that Chase was safe and under the foundation’s care.

Updike remains in custody awaiting a bench warrant hearing and felony arraignment on Tuesday.

Contact Max Michor at mmichor@reviewjournal.com. Follow @MaxMichor on Twitter.

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