The Maplewood Police Department issued a statement on Jan. 4 on an incident where an officer felt threatened by an aggressive dog, and shot it twice, to protect himself.
Following is the department's statement:
On 12-31-12 an officer on patrol observed a large dog (later identified as a 80 pound German Sheppard Mix) running in the street and into several front yards of residences in the 7700 block of Weaver. As the officer pulled over in an attempt to identify the owner of the dog, a Maplewood resident pulled up in a vehicle and made contact with the officer. The resident informed the officer that the dog always gets out and that the same dog running at large had bitten his child in the past.
With the assistance of the above citizen, the dog owner’s residence was identified. The officer responded to the dog owner’s residence in an attempt to have the owner retrieve the dog which was now approximately 50 yards from the officer and the possible owner’s residence. When the officer exited his vehicle and approached the steps of the dog owner’s residence, the large dog began to bark aggressively and then charged at a full sprint directly towards the officer. The officer began to back step retreating away from the dog, however, the dog continued charging while barking and growling aggressively. It was apparent to the officer that the dog was going to attack him and the officer was in fear that the dog would bite and/or attack him. The dog continued its aggressive charge towards the officer, so it was at this time the officer had no choice but to shoot the dog. The officer fired two rounds at the dog which was now within four to five feet of the officer and still charging. After the officer fired the two shots, the dog immediately ran away.
The dog soon returned to the residence in the 7600 block of Weaver at which time contact was made with the dog’s owner. The dog was then transported to a local animal hospital by its owner and believed to have survived.
There are prior documented police calls in reference to this same dog:
- 2-08-12 The dog charged a mail carrier
- 2-18-12 A resident responded to the Maplewood Police Station to make a complaint that the dog was running loose
- 3-27-12 A 16 year old Maplewood resident walking to school was bitten on the hand as he walked past the dog owner’s residence on the sidewalk
Due to the documented history, the dog owner was issued a summons for Allowing a Vicious Dog to Run at Large. The dog owner was also cited for Failure to Confine a Vicious Dog and No Maplewood Animal License.
Det. Sgt. Matt Nighbor
Maplewood Police Department
Also read the Patch article on this incident, which includes comments from the dog's owner.