Man charged in K9 stabbing is incompetent to stand trial

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GREEN BAY – The man who has been charged with stabbing a police service dog (PSD) in 2019 remains incompetent to stand trial, according to reports. The K9 later recovered from its wounds and returned to service.

Sai Vang, 31, faces three charges, including causing injury to a police animal for the April 7, 2019, incident involving K9 Pyro, a Green Bay PSD. He has pleaded not guilty, WLUK reported.

Vang’s competency has been an ongoing issue in the case.

As he did at a hearing in December, Vang disagreed with the assessment, and said he believes he is competent to stand trial.

Judge Timothy Hinkfuss ordered Vang to remain at the Winnebago Mental Health Institute for treatment. Vang’s status will be reviewed April 26.

Police were called to a home in 2019 because Vang was threatening to kill his father. He refused to surrender, so police released K9 Pyro to engage Vang.

As a result, the PSD had an apprehension bite on Vang when the defendant pulled a knife out of his waistband, and stabbed Pyro. An officer then used a Taser on Vang, and he was taken into custody, according to the complaint. Pyro was left bleeding on a nearby sidewalk.

K9 stabbing
Officer Salzmann and K9 Pyro. (Facebook)

During questioning, Vang repeatedly apologized for stabbing Pyro but said “he stabbed the dog on instinct, because he is scared of dogs,” the complaint states.

After the stabbing, one officer described the blade on Vang’s knife to be about five inches long. There was blood at the three-inch mark, WBAY reported.

Pyro was taken to the Fox Valley Animal Referral Center where he had multiple surgeries and received blood and plasma transfusions. Doctors made a hole in his windpipe and inserted a tube to allow Pyro to breathe.

Green Bay Police Chief Andrew Smith said Pyro’s actions likely prevented an officer-involved shooting.

K9 Pyro made a full recovery and returned to active duty on May 23, 2019, six weeks after he was stabbed.

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