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VALLEY ROUNDUP | Canyon Country

Dog Trainer for 'Lassie' in Drunk-Driving Arrest

November 05, 1998|ROBERTO J. MANZANO

The man who trained collies for the "Lassie" television series pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges of drunk driving and striking a law enforcement officer.

Robert Weatherwax, 57, a professional dog trainer who continued the Weatherwax family's "Lassie" tradition, was stopped by police at 1 a.m. Wednesday on Soledad Canyon Road, said Lt. Steve Dolan of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

After seeing Weatherwax driving his station wagon erratically, officers pulled him over in the 16100 block of Soledad Canyon, authorities said.

Weatherwax, of Canyon Country, attempted to flee on foot and punched a sheriff's deputy in the chest before he was restrained, Dolan said. The level of alcohol in Weatherwax's blood was .20%, he said. The state blood-alcohol level limit is .08%.

The son of the late Rudd Weatherwax, the original Lassie owner and trainer, Robert Weatherwax was booked at the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's station and arraigned at Newhall Municipal Court.

Weatherwax was released on his own recognizance, authorities said.

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