House at center of K-9 use of force case burns in arson

The Montgomery Fire Department is conducting an investigation. (Source: WSFA 12 News)
The Montgomery Fire Department is conducting an investigation. (Source: WSFA 12 News)

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Multiple agencies are investigating a weekend home robbery where the suspect died after being caught by a K-9 unit and the house later burned in a confirmed arson.

The Montgomery Public Safety Department confirms someone set the house where the robbery occurred on fire. The Montgomery Fire Department is conducting an investigation. No arrests have been made.

The State Bureau of Investigation confirms the robbery suspect in question, Joseph Pettaway, died of an 'accidental death' from a ruptured femoral artery according to a preliminary autopsy report. The femoral artery, located in the thigh, is the main supply of blood flow to the leg.

SBI Captain Joe Herman confirms the fire occurred after the agency conducted their investigation and SBI is not involved in the MFD investigation.

Sunday, the Montgomery Police Department confirmed officers responded to a burglary-in-progress at around 2:30 a.m. in the 3800 block of Cresta Circle. When they arrived, it appeared the suspect was inside the home and the homeowner approved a K-9 unit entry.

Lt. Andre Mitchell confirmed the K-9 apprehended the suspect inside the home and he was taken to a hospital where he was later pronounced dead.

The K-9 handler is currently on administrative leave and the K-9 is under quarantine at the city kennel.

MPD requested SBI to conduct the investigation, which is protocol in any case involving use of force.

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