EAST MONTGOMERY COUNTY – A routine check of a vehicle that appeared to match the description of one used in the commission of a crime quickly evolved into something far more dramatic on Monday, ending with two arrests, a dead dog and an impounded truck.
Pct. 4 Constable Rowdy Hayden said officers from his agency went to a home at 17615 White Oak Drive in Grangerland around midday to seize a white pickup that was used in a theft. The truck was parked in front of a small brick house located a short distance from where that road intersects with FM 1485. The home has a large chain link fenced yard, but the double wide chain link gate was twisted and broken, with no way to secure it. Despite multiple signs warning people to “keep out,” the dangers posed by entering the property were not evident until officers made contact with one of the residents.
Hayden said the resident, later identified as 39-year-old Johnny Lee “Buzzard” Walley, Jr., greeted officers by walking outside and simultaneously releasing a large hostile Pit Bull Terrier which immediately charged at Chief Deputy Barry Welch as he stood in front of the house. Welch’s only option to protect himself was the use of deadly force, Hayden said. The chief fired his service weapon, fatally wounding the canine as it lunged toward him. Hayden said he and his officers regretted that the dog had to die, but Welch had no choice, given the circumstances.
The terrifying incident was captured on video and shows the split second reaction and marksmanship that saved him from injury, and possibly worse. The clip is at the beginning of the footage embedded below, along with footage of the other dogs and property and an interview with Constable Hayden.
Click the arrow to view video (Flash Player required).
“A police officer’s mission is to go home safe at the end of the day, and that’s what Chief Welch did,” Hayden said.
With the dog dead, the “Buzzard” was taken into custody.
After receiving Buzzard Walley’s consent to search the residence, investigating officers found methamphetamine in his bedroom, which added another charge. Two more Pit Bull Terriers were discovered during the search. The pair reacted to the strangers by barking and growling, like most dogs, but did not attack anyone. Montgomery County Animal Control responded the residence and detained the two dogs until the owner arrived and took custody of them.
In the interim, officers walked back inside the residence and a female voice from the attic asked if “they” were gone and if it was “okay to come out.” Tiffany Nicole Canterberry, 20, did not get the response she anticipated. Turns out Canterberry had an outstanding felony warrant. By hiding, she too added a charge to her existing problems.
Details provided by Canterberry about how she wound up in the attic and information from the homeowner regarding where he left the dog that tried to attack the Chief Deputy, Hayden had a synopsis of the incident from inside.
“At this time, I believe (Walley) who’s wanted in Montgomery County was in the house with his girlfriend (Canterberry), when he realized police were in the driveway,” Hayden said. “She crawled into the attic to hide and he retrieved the Pit Bull from another room, then took it to the front door and released it on the officer.”
Hayden said Walley made no attempt to restrain or call off the dog.
Johnny Lee “Buzzard” Walley, Jr., is charged with two counts of aggravated assault on a public servant; felony possession of a controlled substance (methamphetamine); and hindering apprehension or prosecution of a known felon. His bond was set at a total of $104,500
Tiffany Nicole Canterberry, whose address is listed as 22341 Shady Lane in Porter, was booked into the Montgomery County Jail on an outstanding felony warrant. She is also charged with evading arrest or detention.
Walley’s criminal resume includes theft of property; assault on a public servant; theft by check; displaying a fictitious/counterfeit inspection/insurance document, and burglary of a vehicle.
Canterberry was arrested earlier this year for felony possession of a controlled substance, for which she received 3 years probation, deferred. Canterberry was also arrested for possession of a controlled substance in 2007. That charge was later dismissed.