A San Marcos, Texas, police officer has been accused of inappropriate behavior during a traffic stop which may have lead to a dog's death.
Officer Paul Stephens spotted driver Michael Gonzalez speeding down Interstate 35 and pulled him over for clocking 100 miles per hour. After a brief pursuit, Gonzalez pulled alongside the highway and emerged from his car, saying, "He's dying."
Tune into "GMA" Monday, Aug. 18 to catch an interview with Michael Gonzalez.
"Who's dying? Relax," Stephens said as his cruiser's dashboard camera captured the interaction.
"My dog," Gonzalez said during the Aug. 5 traffic stop.
Gonzalez and his girlfriend said they were speeding because they were rushing their choking teacup poodle Missy to an emergency veterinary clinic for treatment.
But on the video, Stephens sounded less than empathetic as he berated the driver for putting others' lives at risk as he sped down the highway.
"You're driving down the highway at 100 per hour," he said sternly. "It's a dog, it's OK. You can get another one. Relax."
For 15 minutes, Stephens kept Gonzalez on the roadside.
"He said, 'You need to chill out. It's just a dog.' And I said, 'It's not just a dog; it's my family,'" Gonzalez said.
Missy died as Gonzalez waited for the Stephens to issue a citation.
Though Stephens' supervisors found him not guilty of misconduct, they did agree he handled the situation poorly.
"His world was collapsing. And what the officer says to him, basically, is, 'I don't care,'" said San Marcos police department chief Howard Williams.