Man Arrested After Punching Cop But You Can't Blame Him

A man tried rushing into a burning building to save his dog -- and got arrested for his pains. The animal-loving Air Force veteran, Samuel Lee Bassett, 48, of Chicago, was being prevented by police from entering his home as it burned. But frantic to rescue his dying dog, Bassett finally hit one of the officers.


The fire started in the basement of the home Bassett lived in with his "large" dog and his fiancee. Outside, as firefighters battled the blaze, the man repeatedly tried to re-enter his home to get his dog, but police said that it was too dangerous and held him back.

I'm not sure there are too many people who love their pets who wouldn't have done what Bassett allegedly did next: punched an officer in the face.

Honestly, I probably would have done something similar. If I began to realize that firefighters were not controlling the blaze nor rescuing my pet, and I began to realize that my pet was about to die, I would have fought anyone who tried to stop me from going into the blaze.

Now, I'm not saying this is right. Nor am I saying that I -- or Bassett -- shouldn't then get arrested. I'm just saying I can totally sympathize with this man because I know I would have done the same.

Bassett was charged with two felony counts of aggravated battery and those are not light charges. He's being held on $300,000 bond. Here this man is a veteran who has never been in trouble with the law before, and now he'll sit in jail for who knows how long and could end up with some very serious charges on his record.

Police officers and firefighters need to do their job without people hitting them, so it's reasonable that he was arrested. I just feel really, really bad for the guy. For those of you who don't have pets or don't think of them as family, think of your children in that fire. Would you not have tried to get back in? Think of how you would feel knowing they were burning to death and screaming for you -- that is how this man felt.

The police officer was not injured, so let's hope there is some kind of a plea deal here and this compassionate man is out of jail soon.

Unfortunately, the pooch died.

What would you have done?


Image via Cook County Sheriff

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