Originally posted October 7, 2009
OCEAN BEACH, CA. The usual calm and fun at OB’s famous Farmers’ Market was broken this afternoon when a San Diego Police officer shot and killed a local pit bull in Hodad’s parking lot on the 5000 block of Newport Avenue. Police claim the officer was forced to shot the dog as it was attacking another officer.
The shooting of the dog, described as a black pit bull, and named “Blue” occurred around 5pm. At the 10 pm news, two TV stations reported that apparently an undercover police officer was either approaching the dog’s owner or was in the vicinity when the dog began attacking the officer and a woman. Upon hearing the woman’s screams, two officers approached the dog. The dog, with a leash, was biting the officer. That officer took a shot at the dog, but it continued to bite. That’s when a second officer shot the dog at least twice and killed it. Both the woman bitten and the officer were taken to a hospital with undisclosed injuries.
The dog’s owner, a local guy who some said was homeless, was also reportedly taken into custody on a couple of misdemeanors. He had supposedly fled the scene during the dog attack. Police stated he was arrested for the attack and for fleeing.
Eyewitnesses decried the use of such force, and disputed the number of shots police say were made at the dog. One officer speaking in front of the media said three shots were made. Witnesses said up to 5 or 6 shots were made.
UPDATE from Fox 5 News:
I saw a lady limping away and clearly she had been bitten by the dog,” said Rebecca Barnett who witnessed the incident.
Officers say two undercover policemen tried to stop the dog’s owner.
“They identified themselves produced their badges and said, “SDPD please stop’!” said Police Sgt. Misty Cedrun. “He continued to run.”
The officers then chased the man into a nearby parking lot.
“The pit bull turned on one of the undercover officers and started biting his leg,” said Sgt. Cedrun. “The other officer fired a couple of rounds into the dog and eventually put him down.”
Rio Mesta said she knows the dog owner and his pet dog named Blue. She was at the site Wednesday and said she was horrified.
“You don’t senselessly shoot an animal six times,” Mesta said. “I played with him 24 hours ago; put my face in his face and he licked my face so not a real threat there people.”
Mesta and some others felt that killing the dog wasn’t necessary.
“I am just aghast right now, I’m appalled,” said Heidi Cohen-wolff. “We know darn well he’s got defense training; he’s got tranquilizer guns. He’s got many other options.”
San Diego police though said the officer felt threatened and there was no other alternative.
“Some people might think that’s excessive but in this instance, that pit bull was actively attacking an undercover police officer,” said Sgt. Cedrun. “So there’s only one way for us to stop that threat.”
Cedrun said the dog had a history of threatening behavior. She said many citizens came forward to say they have seen the dog lunging at people. Cedrun said the dog owner, who is homeless, faces misdemeanor charges for the attack and for running from officers. The woman who was attacked had very minor injuries. The officer was taken to the hospital where he was treated for minor bites to his le
San Diego News Network reports:
The animal went after the officer about 5 p.m. in the 5000 block of Newport Avenue, near the site of a weekly farmers’ market, SDPD Sgt. David Jennings said. The lawman opened fire in self-defense, killing the dog at the scene, the sergeant said. Medics took the officer to a hospital for treatment of bite wounds. His condition was not immediately available.
At this point, 5 to 6 hours after the shooting, there are conflicting reports of the circumstances surrounding this shooting. There were many eyewitnesses, and some of them have made comments to this post. More news will be made available as soon as we see or hear it.