Former resident encounters unusual accident

This article submitted by Linda Stelling on 8/25/98.

Dean Herzberg, a former Paynesville resident, has received some national spotlight because of an encounter with a dog.

Herzberg, the son of Stan and Marcia Herzberg, Paynesville, is a police officer in Watertown, S.D.

Herzberg was called to a two-car accident on a Saturday morning at the HyVee parking lot. Upon his arrival at the parking lot, the owner of the Nebraska vehicle pointed to a golden retriever tied to a grocery cart and said ďThereís the culprit,Ē Herzberg said in an interview. ďWhen I saw it, I just shook my head, I couldnít believe it.Ē

The car owner parked the car in the lot, turned it off, and headed into the storeís cafe section for breakfast.

Somehow the dog got it out of gear,Ē Herzberg said. ďThe animal got the carís transmission lever from park to neutral and there the car went. The vehicle rolled into a brand new Watertown car.

Herzbergís investigation showed no damage at all to either vehicle, not even a scratch. As a result, the names of the dog and car owners involved arenít on the record. All thatís left is a note on the Watertown police log and a chuckle from Police Chief Terry Lohr that somehow charges of driving without a license should be forth coming. Public opinion carried the ďcuteĒ story which was picked up by Associated Press nationwide.

Since the accident, Herzberg has been interviewed live on a Rochester, N.Y. radio station and a Chicago radio station.

When the phone rang at his home, Herzberg thought a telemarketer was calling. ďI just about hung up the phone. Instead, while his wife, Amy, grinned at the call, Herzberg told the tale of the smart but unlucky driving dog and answered questions ranging from whether the dog was arrested for driving without a license or with fleasóand whether he had problems getting paw prints.

ďWe talked about ten minutes,Ē Herzberg said, adding the station probably figured heíd be somebody with a good sense of humor from reading the newspaper story.

ďIíve been teased about not arresting the dog for driving without a license ever since the incident,Ē Herzberg said.

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