PHOENIX, AZ (3TV/CBS 5)-- Charlie, a friendly golden retriever, started his Monday like usual on South Mountain in Phoenix.

“We live really close to here and this is a trail we hike on a regular basis,” said his owner, who asked Arizona’s Family to hide her identity.

Charlie’s owner takes him to the Mormon Loop Trail often to hike, and that’s what they did early Monday morning.

[WATCH: "It just got really ugly, really fast," Charlie's owner said.]

“We started up the trail without any incidents,” she said.

But just 15 minutes into her hike, she said a couple was coming down the mountain with two dogs, and she thought they might be new friends for Charlie.

But that interaction took a terrifying turn when Charlie went to go greet the dogs.

“The man said, ‘Keep your dog close to you,’” she recalled.

She said she called Charlie back and he happily obliged because he is well-trained. But she never expected what happened next.

“Without hesitation, the man wielded a golf club above his head and he came down and he struck Charlie with it,” she said. “As soon as he struck the blow, I think my vision went black.”

She said he started yelling profanities at her and threatened to hit her with the club, too.

“It just got really ugly, really fast. And, so, he’s in my face screaming. I’m screaming back at him. Charlie had run back to my friend and was sitting on her feet,” she said.

She said Charlie is OK, but she was shaken up.

“I’ve never seen anything like this before,” she said. “I dialed 911.”

The City of Phoenix said police called their park rangers to go out and inspect the area and look for the man she says slugged the golden retriever, but they never found him.

Now, Charlie’s owner is warning people to be alert, even if they think they know a popular and friendly trail.


Copyright 2019 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.



Recommended for you

(35) comments


Sick people out there. Charlie went to him to say hello..whack!


Keep your mutt on the leash as the law and common sense requires and that would never happen. The sick people are the ones who let their mutts run and annoy other people and threaten other dogs.


Wow Arizona has got a name Sh--thole! People don't know how to act right at all. Yes the dog should have been on a leash But the dog showed no aggression towards anyone an did as told. All I can say is had that been my dog he hit with a golf club .... Trust me he'd be going down that mountain with the golf club up his arse! I don't care if he had a bad experience before, get over it! It was plain to see the dog was no threat to him or his dogs. I'd be willing to bet this man beats his wife daily. What a whoos! Stay away from my dogs I'll beat you for hitting that dog!


Any dog come running at me or my family (or pets) I consider a danger and will protect myself and them by any means I have available. YOU Di are the Sh--thole for thinking you should get by with allowing your mutts to attack people.


1st off, stupid comments about her foot attire, there is nothing stating that is what she was wearing hiking, does everyone think the photos used for the article came from that exact day??? 2nd - off leash - shame on her, but I agree with everyone, that still doesn't give the guy the right to take a golf club to the dog. I have had to hold and even pickup my dogs because of off leash dogs (not inside a dog park but on a trail). My dog is very friendly, but will go into protective mode when an off-leash dog approaches, not to protect herself, but to protect her pack (aka - myself, my husband, and my kids). NOBODY should think it is ok for their dogs to be off leash unless in an off leash area. Shame on the rangers for not questioning her and ticketing her for off leash. If more park rangers were doing that, then we wouldn't have these kinds of incidents happen. On leash = in control of owner (not relying on voice commands but in true control)


The guy has every right to protect himself, his family and his pets from a dog (or any other animal) coming after them. He had no idea but what that dog was going to attack regardless of what the mutt's owner claims.


Lot of ignorant comments. Just because someone breaks the law by not having their friendly dog on a leash, does not justify someone assaulting anything or anyone. The dog never did anything. So that’s like me taking a hammer to your head because you broke the law and didn’t use a turn signal - hey! Deadly accidents occur because of stupid is it justified? Gtfoh

Agustus Gloop

Welcome to the comments board where ignorance flows like water over Niagara Falls. The Arizona's Family Knights of Righteousness has perfected the art of posting uneducated comments. Their favorite punishment is death, everybody that has been accused of making a mistake, it's "off with their head." Their favorite game is to conjure up "what if" scenarios to justify death to accused if accused is accused of crime not punishable by death. "What if Charlie became rabid and grew razor blades for teeth and was coming to kill you or your kids or your one legged grandmother on that trail, you ok with not clubbing him to death?"


Where in this story did it mention the dogs was not on a leash?


Here. She wouldn't have to call him back if the dog was on a leash. She said she called Charlie back and he happily obliged because he is well-trained.


As a survivor of a vicious dog attack (plastic surgery but still have scars) all I can say is LEASH YOUR DOGS! I love animals. I love them more than people most days. But I will not hesitate one moment to do what it takes if your unleashed dog comes at me and I am fearful for my safety.


Been about 40 yrs since I ran the local trails. I would have been ok with a bounty on unrestrained dogs. The incidents I still remember clearly involved those beautiful creatures with two different colored eyes. That breed hated me for some reason.

Tentacles of Poison

White is right but Daddy's IQ is a fright.....IgnoranceOnDisplay @


My dog is part of my family. If some one attacks him with a golf club or otherwise, I will respond accordingly.


And if your dog attacks me I have every right to protect myself in any manner necessary. Sounds like you are no better than your unrestrained mutt.

Comment deleted.
Agustus Gloop

Hey Daddy!!!! Wrong side of the mountain. As usual, Daddy is on the wrong side. Mormon Trailhead is located on south 24th street, where it runs into the north boundary of South Mountain Park. Not an "easy" hike for someone like you, that spews so much hate. Too many really good people on that trail that don't look right, to you. You would be huffing and puffing and about to blow a cork knowing, if you start moving your hate spewing lips, there are some really good people up there that would give you a good dose of Whoop Azz. Stay on your side of the mountain, on your "easy" hikes so our first responders don't have to come scrape up your crumpled carcass.


Again, an animal suffers because of the ignorance of its owner. Her dog should have been on a leash.She should have been cited for permitting the dog to be at large. I have two dogs that are always leashed in a public area, however, I cannot go to a public park, anymore, for fear that individuals, like Charlie's owner, allow their dogs to run free, with the possibility of loose dogs being a threat to me or my dogs. Perhaps the other dog owner had a past confrontation with a vicious dog or coyote while on the trail. According to the report he asked her to get her dog. Arizona has leash laws. It is owners like her that give us other dog owners, a bad name. If you want to go unleashed, go to a designated dog park. People have a right to go to a public area without being confronted by loose dogs. (By the way Charlie's owner, wear proper footwear while hiking with your dog, carry water, and pick up after you dog, as I see, you didn't have any bags or water with you.)


Proper footwear for people and the dogs. If the ground burns our feet, it will burn their feet. It's too hot now for dogs to hike.


No wonder she wants her identity hidden - she was breaking the leash laws by not having her mutt restrained. The guy had every right to protect his dogs.


The dog should have been on a leash. It is the law. Irresponsible pet owner that thinks she and her dogs can do whatever they want.

Agustus Gloop

Chapter 8, Article 3, Section 8-14...go read the law and get back to us. Irresponsible comment poster that thinks they can post whatever they want.

Agustus Gloop

Sounds like a hit and run. If I were ever forced into a situation where I felt it necessary to club someone's pet, I would stick around to tell my side of the story to the authorities. For He Man Woman Hater MyOwnMind, you best pull your head out of the Ignorance Hole and go read the statute on leashed dogs in city parks; Chapter 8, Article 3, Section 8-14...some dogs do not need to be on leash. Shut your vile, hate spewing pie hole, you “Entitled littlw t w a tâ€


Besides all this, it's too hot to take dogs hiking now. Leave them at home.


Unleashed dogs bring trouble. No judgement as I had to learn the hard way myself. Would have been a good time to take a pic. Yeah, the guy with the golf club would have had a very different version of events.


Shows you the mentality of someone taking a golf club hiking!!!! The person that hits any dog especially a golden retriever is nothing but a big pu$$...

JF Conlon

Sort of like clubbing baby harp seals to death!


We have one side of an irresponsible dog owners story. She "thought" he would have new friends? Unleashed. Entitled littlw t w a t


Would not hesitate to shoot or stab him multiple times.


Exactly what I was thinking! I would shoot the guy! She had every right to do it too if she had a gun,self defense and defending her dog!


Sounds like you missed a justified shooting of the club man


You are wrong, that is not justified. Also this article is decidedly one-sided. No interview of the person with the club. I wonder why we have not heard more about this story?


It doesn’t sound like her dog was leashed on the trail. That doesn’t excuse violent behavior on the part of others, but it certainly invited it. People, people, I implore you to behave civilly when in public spaces. Keep your animals leashed and pick up their waste. Simple really, and if you don’t want to do that, buy a farm.


I agree, she should have leashed him at least when she saw someone coming near them. We don't know what that other person's background has been... maybe an unleashed dog attached them or their dogs in the past.

At the same rate, if what was said is true and the dog returned to the woman he certainly should not have taken a club to it.

But I can't speak, since once I was walking a friend's GSD and it absolutely HATED other dogs. Some woman let her dog run out the front door to "see the other doggy". Meanwhile I had to lift the german shephard up to prevent it from maiming her dog. I also tried to scare the other dog away by slapping my walking stick on the ground but that did not work. She got mad at me for doing that (I didn't even come near the dog). So I verbally tore her a new one... :/ I was quite frustrated with her. She had no idea how close she came to having either a dead dog or at least a huge vet bill.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.