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Déjà vu: ‘Paddy’ Lynch arrested in dog incident

Lynch

By Shane Benjamin Herald staff writer

Padraig “Paddy” Lynch and animal shelters aren’t a good mix.

The former Durango School District 9-R board member has been arrested for the second time within five years on suspicion of trespassing at a local shelter.

The most recent incident occurred about 2:15 p.m. Wednesday at Willow Tree Kennel, a dog and cat boarding shelter seven miles north of Durango in the Animas Valley.

According to interviews and an arrest report, Lynch was driving on County Road 203 when he picked up a loose dog and delivered it to the kennel nearby.

In an interview, Lynch, 53, said he saw the dog running from the kennel, but kennel manager Amber Pickren said the dog was not being kept there.

Lynch began to go in the back to check out the kennel, and Pickren slid in between him and the entrance to stop him.

He began cursing and yelling at her, according to an arrest affidavit. Pickren said Lynch had the odor of alcohol on his breath.

Pickren said she put her hands up to his chest to stop him, and he became very upset. He then “chest bumped” her, according to the affidavit.

But Lynch said Pickren is the one who shoved him. “It irritated me, so I just kind of spouted off, and I left on my own accord,” he said.

Pickren said she asked Lynch to leave several times. He eventually did, yelling profanities and saying he’d return, according to the affidavit.

Pickren called 911.

Two deputies with the La Plata County Sheriff’s Office went to Lynch’s house nearby. They approached a screen door, and saw Lynch slouched at a table, according to the affidavit.

A dog ran out of the house and tried to bite a deputy on the leg.

Lynch exited the house and demanded to see a warrant, according to the affidavit. He cursed at the deputies and told them to get off his porch.

One of the deputies removed his Taser gun and ordered him to the ground. He reluctantly went to his knees and placed his hands on his head. He continued to curse at deputies and stood up to walk away. Deputies grabbed him and placed him in handcuffs. He thrashed violently and tried to break free, the affidavit says.

Deputies had to forcibly walk him to a patrol car, at which point his dog bit the back of a deputy’s leg.

He was booked on suspicion of three misdemeanors: harassment, trespassing and resisting arrest.

Lynch, a welding teacher from 2003 to 2005 at Durango High School, has been in and out of the public spotlight during the last decade.

He ran for La Plata County commissioner in 2006 as a third-party candidate, but earned only 5.5 percent of the vote.

In 2007, he ran for the Durango 9-R School District board. His opponent died in a motorcycling accident, and Lynch was sworn in for a four-year term.

He was arrested Aug. 9, 2008, for breaking into the La Plata County Humane Society to free his dog, Marsha. He pleaded guilty in March 2009 and was sentenced to one year of probation.

In 2010, he resigned from the school board.

He said he plans to fight the most recent charges. He is free on $500 bail.

“I’m burned out on Durango,” he said. “It’s never been good to me. I came here to live in peace, and all I’ve gotten is harassed.”

shane@durangoherald.com

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