Pitbull Charges Officers During Search

August 21, 2006

Los Angeles: A pitbull crashed through a wooden gate and attacked a police canine search team as officers finished searching for an armed suspect on May 27, 2006. The canine handler shot the rushing dog.

Around 11:00 PM, gang officers assigned to the Southeast Police Station noticed a juvenile out after curfew. The young man ran from the officers carrying a revolver, which he dropped.

The officers called in canine search teams to find the subject. One search team, led by Police Officer Steve Carnevale and his canine partner, Zorra, searched a yard at 845 West 94th Street. As the officers finished, a pitbull, which had been seen in a kennel, crashed through a wooden gate and attacked the officers.

Officer Carnevale fired one round at the charging animal, hitting it in the shoulder. The dog fell against a fence then charged a second time. Officer Carnevale fired again and hit the dog a second time. The pitbull retreated into the yard and died.

Investigators suspected that the homeowner, who was present, had released the dog from the kennel after the officers left the yard, not anticipating her dog could get through the exterior fence.

The officers never found the juvenile subject, but they did recover the gun. It will be analyzed to see if it has been involved any other crimes.

Officer Carnevale is assigned to Metropolitan Division. He is 40 years old and has over 15 years with the LAPD.