Man in K-9 death arrested in drug case

The death of police dog Schultz led to an outpouring of grief and a change in state law.
The death of police dog Schultz led to an outpouring of grief and a change in state law. (ELIZABETH ROBERTSON / Staff Photographer)
Posted: January 29, 2013

Skyler Robinson, blamed for the death of Gloucester Township's much-loved canine police officer, is back in jail.

Camden County officials detained him Monday after they discovered that Gloucester County had issued a warrant for a possible probation violation.

On Thursday, law enforcement and elected officials were angered after a judge accepted Robinson's application into drug court, which places defendants into treatment programs instead of prison.

In 2010, Robinson's arrest prompted national outrage after local authorities alleged that he had flung Gloucester Township's K-9, Schultz, into traffic as he fled from a robbery.

There were differing accounts of what happened. Robinson's attorney, Saul Steinberg, said Robinson broke loose from the dog, and both were hit while running into traffic on Route 42.

Schultz died at the scene. Robinson, once a standout football player for Washington Township High School, and Evan Scotese, 21, of Washington Township, were arrested in connection with the robbery.

Scotese is serving six years for robbery after admitting that he punched an employee and took about $300 from the Lucky Dragon takeout.

Robinson, 22, of Sewell, was facing five years or more if convicted of robbery and causing the death of the dog. If he did not complete treatment, Robinson could be sentenced to prison time.

His acceptance into drug court angered some Camden County authorities, who say Robinson's criminal history should have excluded him.

In 2010, he was charged with robbery in Gloucester County. Bernie Weisenfeld, spokesman for the Gloucester County Prosecutor's Office, said Robinson was arrested after a party where he allegedly jumped from behind a bush, tackled a person, and took $900. He pleaded guilty to a lesser theft charge in exchange for two years' probation.

That November, he was arrested in connection with the Lucky Dragon robbery and Schultz's death.

In July 2012, while free on bail, he was charged with possession with intent to distribute after allegedly selling prescription drugs to an undercover officer.

A warrant was issued by Gloucester County in December for violating his 2010 probation. On Monday, Robinson reported for a drug evaluation for Camden County's drug court. That's when officials discovered Gloucester County's warrant.

It was not clear why the warrant was not issued earlier, why authorities did not serve it in Gloucester County, or why Robinson was not detained last week.


Contact Barbara Boyer at 856-779-3838, bboyer@phillynews.com, or follow on Twitter @BBBoyer.

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