Attack Dog Shot By Police Officers

September 27, 2006

Los Angeles: A violent pit bull that terrorized a family and charged peace officers was shot and killed by police.

On Wednesday, September 20, 2006, around 8:00 p.m., Southeast Area Officers Oscar Villarreal and Daniel Vizcaino where flagged down by a citizen who told them that a nearby pit bull had just bitten several people.

The citizen directed police to the front yard of a residence at 150 West 113th Street, in the Green Meadow area of south Los Angeles. When officers arrived, they saw a male juvenile attempting to hold down an aggressive pit bull. The dog belonged to the juvenile and was about to escape from its yard. Officers gave the owner a hobble restraint, a device made of one-inch-thick nylon, that is commonly used to restrain combative suspects. The dog’s owner placed the restraint around the dog’s neck and officers tied the dog to a chain link fence.

Even when secured to the fence, the dog’s aggression increased. Police requested a unit equipped with a beanbag shotgun respond to the location. Southeast Sergeant Alma Burke arrived with a beanbag. Fearing that the dog was about to free himself, Burke fired one round from the beanbag shotgun, striking the animal. The dog was not neutralized.

Ultimately the dog chewed through the hobble device and began running toward the officers. Burke fired a second beanbag round, which again failed to stop the animal. Officer Vizcaino drew his service revolver and fired one round, striking the pit bull. After being shot, the dog again attempted to advance toward officers. Vizcaino fired a second round. The dog fell and later died from its injuries.

The investigation revealed that the dog had attacked the juvenile’s mother, father and younger brother, biting the mother on the face and her son on the right hand and left thigh. All were treated for their injuries though none required hospitalization.

Officer Vizcaino is 32 and has 10 years with the Department. Sergeant Burke is 32 and has been with the LAPD for 10 years.

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