Actor Steven Seagal is refuting the claim that he killed a puppy during an Arizona raid that was filmed for his A&E reality series and says he’s no dog killer.
The home of Jesus Llovera, who wants $100,000 and a written apology from Seagal, was raided last March. Liovera stated that the actor arrived in a tank with police wearing riot gear. The police went to the home to hunt down an illegal cockfighting ring.
“I’ve been called a lot of things in my career, some of them not so kind. But to be labeled an animal abuser is beyond the pale, and that is simply a role I will not accept,” Seagal said in a statement.
The Sheriff’s Department also refuted Llovera’s claims, “No dog was even injured, much less killed, during the operation. In fact, no firearm was discharged during the course of this operation. According to witnesses at the raid, a dog was present on Jesus Llovera’s property when deputies and SWAT team members, of whom Seagal was one, entered the premises with a search warrant to arrest Llovera on cockfighting charges and seize all evidence pertaining to the crime.”
Both Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, a law enforcement figure best known for his strong stance against illegal immigrants, and Seagal contends that Llovera and his attorney Joseph Campos are fabricating the puppy killing as a way to gain attention to their lawsuit and to escalate the potential settlement amount.
“Llovera wants money and his attorney wants notoriety,” Seagal says. The Sheriff’s Department also said that A&E and Steven have been “inundated” with harassing calls concerning the incident. At the time of the raid, the actor told a local news station, “Animal cruelty is one of my pet peeves.”