According to authorities, the neighbor's dog, a six-month old shepherd mix, was beaten to the point where it had to be put to sleep.
LC Assistant Fire Chief Glynn Johnson, who has been with the department for 30 years, reportedly told Riverside County investigators that he beat the dog in self-defense.
Authorities say that the dog escaped its yard and wandered onto a neighbor's property. Johnson allegedly told that neighbor that he would return the dog to the owner's house. According to that neighbor, Johnson took the dog onto his own property and then began hitting it with his fist, before using a rock to injure the dog.
The dog's owners say they plan to take civil action against Johnson regardless of the outcome of the criminal investigation.
Following the incident, Los Angeles County Fire Chief P. Michael Freeman released the following statement:
"The Los Angeles County Fire Department is deeply concerned with allegations regarding Assistant Fire Chief Glynn Johnson's actions in the beating of his neighbor's dog. Prior to the news reports, Chief Johnson had advised his superiors of the incident and explained his actions as self-defense.
Given the nature of the allegations and the ongoing Riverside County Sheriff's investigation, Chief Johnson has been placed on administrative leave (with pay). Once more facts are available, the Department will take appropriate action as warranted.
There will be no further information available by the Department until the investigation is completed"