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Homer man arrested on charges of beating dog with baseball bat

Jerzy Shedlock

Alaska State Troopers arrested a Homer man on multiple charges including animal cruelty Friday after a resident reported the man had severely beaten a dog with a baseball bat. Two children were also removed from the residence after troopers investigated.

On Friday, Anchor Point troopers responded to Homer, on the southern tip of Alaska's Kenai Peninsula, after receiving a call about a dog beating that reportedly occurred nearly two months earlier.

On Sept. 3, according to an affidavit filed at the Kenai Courthouse, troopers received a call from a resident of the Kathy Court neighborhood. The caller told troopers that in late July he heard a dog yelping in the neighborhood and walked to a nearby home where he found two individuals -- one later identified as 22-year-old William H.D. Chapman -- beating a dog with “baseball bats.” He said the dog was dragging its rear legs, yelping and had several lacerations on its face.

He reportedly confronted the men, who told him they “were beating the dog to death” because it bit a child. The caller said he shot the dog in the head to “put it out of its misery.” The other man, who hasn’t been charged, allegedly said he used a bat because he is a felon and can’t own a gun.

Nine days later, troopers received another call about the dog death. In addition, the anonymous caller said a large amount of marijuana was at the same residence.

The next day, Sept. 13, troopers went to Ruth Way to investigate the animal cruelty report and met 22-year-old William H.D. Chapman. Troopers say an “overpowering odor of fresh marijuana” emitted from Chapman’s front door. Chapman allegedly said he smoked “a bowl” before troopers arrived.

Troopers say Chapman told them his brother “spanked the dog,” identified as Bo Duke in court records, with a baseball bat, but the dog was unharmed and yelped because it was scared. Then the neighbor came to the house and shot the dog.

While troopers interviewed Chapman, another occupant of the property approached. She denied troopers consent to search the house for a baseball bat and marijuana plants. However, a trooper told her they were “seizing the residence and surrounding (the) property pending application for a search warrant to recover Bo Duke’s body, the baseball bat, and to search the house evidence of a marijuana grow,” according to the affidavit. 

During the interview with the property owner, Chapman allegedly was hostile and tried to fight the troopers at the residence.

“He attempted to run, then fought with troopers as they were trying to detain him,” troopers’ spokesperson Megan Peters said in an email. “They ended up going to the ground and wrestling with him.” Troopers reportedly used pepper spray to subdue Chapman,who complied after being sprayed.

The woman entered the house through the back door while troopers subdued Chapman. A trooper reportedly also went inside the home to prevent the “destruction of evidence,” according to the affidavit. He saw 60 small pot plants growing in plastic cups. He escorted the woman and three children outside, troopers reported. There also were five budding plants growing outside under a tarp.

Around 7 p.m., troopers obtained a search warrant. During the search of the property, troopers reportedly found more than 25 plants inside and outside the home, and a case containing an AK-47 beneath a bed in the living room.

But troopers were unable to locate Bo Duke’s body. 

The female and the other alleged dog killer haven’t been charged but Chapman faces multiple charges, which include animal cruelty, misconduct involving weapons, misconduct involving drugs, disorderly conduct and second-degree endangering the welfare of children.

Troopers say the investigation is ongoing. Chapman was arraigned Saturday in Kenai, and a preliminary hearing was set for Sept. 24 in Homer. Chapman has no major prior convictions, according to online court records.

Contact Jerzy Shedlock at jerzy(at)alaskadispatch.com

Correction: The previous version of the above story stated Chapman shot and killed the dog after the beating. Troopers clarified that a neighbor later shot and killed the dog because it was suffering.

Contact Jerzy Shedlock at jerzy(at)alaskadispatch.com