Police worried about threats made in standoff and photos posted to social media

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O’FALLON, MO (KPLR) – William Pennington is charged with assault on law enforcement, resisting arrest and cruelty to a police animal.  Pennington held police at bay for more than 8 hours Sunday.

In a sworn statement, police say Bennington grabbed, pinched and twisted a police K9’s ears after being bit by the dog.

“When they gave me the original call, they said our dog was down,” said Chief Roy Joachimstaler, O’Fallon, MO Police Department.  “The feeling I had was what would be similar to one of my officers going down.”

Police eventually fired tear gas into the home on Cordes St. where Pennington was positioned.  He was taken into custody Sunday night and has an outstanding warrant in Johnson County, Mo for statutory sodomy.

A probable cause statement from police indicated Pennington made several threats throughout the standoff.   Police say Pennington shouted, “The next cop I see I’m gonna kill.  I have 12 rounds for you.”  He’s also accused of saying, “(Expletive) you.  Get SWAT I want a shootout.”

Police did not find a gun, but say Pennington held a metal bar giving the appearance he was armed.

Shortly after the standoff began, police sent out a message through social media asking citizens to not post pictures of the tactical unit’s positions on Facebook.

“We weren’t trying to sensor anybody or stop anybody from taking photos,” said Joachimstaler.  “But please don’t put them out on Facebook for the suspect to be able to see where the tactical officers are positioned.  It definitely is an officer safety issue.”

St. Charles City Police Sgt. Josh Hoeing has SWAT team experience.  His department was not involved in Sunday’s standoff, but he shares concerns about social media jeopardizing officers’ safety.

“It’s going to be detrimental to not only the officers’ safety, but to the actual individual’s safety as well if they get too close to the incident scene.”

Pennington is jailed on a $50,000 bond.