Owners of a dog shot during a Fayetteville police raid file complaint
Published: 10:18 PM, Fri Sep 21, 2012
A family whose dog was shot when Fayetteville police raided their Clarendon Street home on Wednesday morning has filed a complaint against the officers.
Department spokesman Gavin MacRoberts said the incident remained under investigation Friday.
MacRoberts said it is standard procedure for the department to conduct an internal investigation of complaints regarding uses of force in any police matter. That investigation will look at whether police operated according to department standards.
Christian Yepez and his family met with police Friday afternoon to discuss the matter, but MacRoberts said he could not share what was said because it relates to personnel matters.
Yepez’s mother, Pennie Yepez, said about 11 people went to the police station Friday afternoon to ask police why the family dog was killed.
She said police did not offer much insight as to what happened to lead to the dog’s death and family members left frustrated that their concerns were not being heard.
MacRoberts said police entered the home to execute a search warrant as part of an investigation involving Yepez. He said the dog was shot after police entered, but it remained unclear what prompted police to fire on 5-year-old Nastradamus, a medium-sized mixed breed.
“Details beyond that are part of the internal investigation and not being released,” MacRoberts said.
Yepez was arrested after the raid and charged with misdemeanor possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia and maintaining a dwelling for controlled substances. MacRoberts said police seized less than 1.5 ounces of marijuana and two guns from the home.
Pennie Yepez said she was not home during the raid. Her son was upstairs sleeping when police kicked in the front door about 7 a.m. and threw flash grenades, she said. The dog was sleeping on the couch by the front door, and, after police entered, the dog moved away from the door.
“He was in the kitchen and (police) shot him three times,” she said.
Pennie Yepez said the family had Nastradamus’ body examined by a local veterinarian with x-rays to view the full scope of his injuries. She said there was a visible bullet hole in the dog’s neck, unexplained leg injuries and several broken bones.
Staff writer Caitlin Dineen can be reached at email@example.com or 486-3509.
Maryland family awarded compensation in police shoot dog case
September 19, 2012
By: Penny Eims
A Montgomery County judge has awarded a Frederick, Md. family significant compensation for pain and suffering, in addition to veterinary costs, following a police versus dog shooting incident which took place in 2010.
According to Wednesday’s publication of the SF Gate, Roger and Sandi Jenkins of Frederick, Md. will receive $600,000 for pain and suffering, in addition to $7,500 for veterinary expenses which resulted when their Labrador retriever was shot by a Frederick County sheriff’s deputy in January, 2010.
Back in April, a jury had determined that the Jenkins should receive $620,000 in compensation. The judge had to reduce the veterinary expense compensation from $20,000 to $7,500 due to a cap set forth by Maryland state law.
The Jenkins’ dog, a chocolate Labrador retriever named “Brandi,” was shot by Deputy Timothy Brooks when he and another officer came to the Jenkins home to deliver a civil warrant to the couple’s son, who no longer lived at the residence.
Deputy Brooks shot Brandi after she bounded out from the Jenkins’ home. The shooting incident was captured on video.
The dog survived the shooting, but was grievously wounded.
When the Jenkins rushed their injured dog to a veterinarian for care, the deputies illegally entered their home.
After the jury’s initial verdict, lawyer Cary Hansel of Joseph, Greenwald & Laake in Greenbelt, Maryland and Rebekah D. Lusk of the Thienel Law Firm, stated:
“The verdict makes it clear that Maryland citizens will not tolerate the killing and maiming of innocent family pets by those in positions of power. The jury valiantly defended our constitutional rights to be secure from this violence on our property and to be safe in our own homes. This is a victory for the constitution and for all Maryland citizens.”
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Video Report #2:
ST. LOUIS, MI (WNEM) -
A local family is still shocked after what happened to their beloved pet. They say their dog was shot and killed at the hands of a police officer.
The shooting happened Saturday in St. Louis, Mich., in Gratiot County.
Lori Walmsley, a neighbor of the family who lost their pet, says she saw the incident.
Walmsley says she was outside playing with her own dog when her neighbor’s golden retriever, Scout, ran over into her yard. She says she called the dog over to play, which Scout did, and then Scout ran back over back into his own yard. That’s when Walmsley says a police officer showed up.
Walmsley said the officer asked if the was dog hers. She said “no,” but told the officer Scout wasn’t dangerous. She says the officer tried to catch the dog, who apparently didn’t want to be caught. The dog tried to run away and when cornered by the officer, let out a little growl. Walmsley says she couldn’t believe what happened next.
“I heard ‘pop pop pop pop pop,’ and I thought, ‘what is going on,’ and I [saw] the St. Louis Police Department standing over my dog,” said Scout’s owner.
“He just started shooting him, he just kept shooting him in the head,” said Walmsley. “I said, ‘What are you doing? He’s just a puppy!’”
The dog was taken to the vet were it later died.
The witness says the officer wasn’t provoked and she doesn’t feel his reaction was warranted. Scout’s owners were inside their house during the incident.
TV5 has a follow-up to this story — watch the report at the top of this page as we take The Tough Questions to the officer’s boss.
Copyright 2012 WNEM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
Eyewitness: Officer used baton, boot on injured dog
August 28, 2012 4:00 pm • By ERIC BETZ Sun staff reporter
A Flagstaff police officer repeatedly struck an injured Sunnyside dog with a baton and stomped its head with his boot, according to an eyewitness who watched the incident at about 2:30 a.m. on August 19.
Police officials say an officer hit the loose dog with his patrol car when the animal darted out from behind a parked vehicle. However, the methods that the officer’s supervisor used to euthanize the dog have since come under scrutiny, triggering parallel criminal and internal affairs investigations.
Police Chief Kevin Treadway confirmed that Corporal John Tewes had been placed on administrative leave the day after the incident after another police supervisor brought the incident to light.
The Sunnyside resident, who has been interviewed by police, asked to remain anonymous to avoid the public attention that would arise from being identified. She says she watched the entire incident from her window as the injured dog was spotlighted in the street.
The woman told the Daily Sun that she and her husband heard their own dogs howling at about 2:30 a.m. on Sunday, Aug. 19, and saw flashing lights outside.
Her husband went outside and saw their neighbor’s dog had been hit by a car and was sprawled out in the street. The witness said the dog couldn’t walk and was bleeding from its eyes and nose.
When the husband tried to tell the officer that the dog belonged to his neighbor and pointed to the home, he was told to go back inside.
“OK, sir. We’ll take care of it. Just go back to your house,” the police told her husband, according to the witness
Police officials told the Daily Sun the following Friday, Aug. 24, that they were unaware who owned the dog.
The woman said that the officer who hit the dog waited in the street with the animal for about 10 minutes until the second officer, later confirmed as Cpl. Tewes, showed up on scene.
The pair waited for another 10 to 15 minutes before the officers apparently attempted to euthanize the dog without using a firearm.
Police officials have said the officers did not want to use their firearms for public safety reasons.
The woman said she watched the supervisor extend his baton and then strike the dog in the head. She says she had to turn her head and look away, but continued to hear the thumping as the metal club impacted its skull.
“I saw him extend the baton and he raised it up and he struck the dog in the forehead,” the witness said.
“You could just hear the dog and then the dog got quiet,” she added. The dog started yelping again when the officer returned several minutes later and poked at it with the baton, she says.
More time went by and the officer placed his boot on the dog’s head and stood on it, then stomped down, apparently attempting to crush its skull.
The officer waited several more moments and then hit it with a baton, according to the witness.
“I turned my head and said, ‘Oh my god, I can’t believe he just did that,” the witness said. “I don’t know what he was thinking.”
Eventually, the witness said she watched the officer grab the dog by a leg and drag it to the patrol car.
The couple assumed that the police department would have notified the dog owners and were nervous to talk to them about it all last week.
When the witness saw the story in the Daily Sun on Saturday, she approached police her neighbors.
The dog owner told the witness that she and her family spent all week trying to find their dog and eventually were asked to identify its body at the Coconino Humane Association. A police investigator came and told them what happened to their dog on Friday.
Police officials declined to confirm any details of the witness’ account, citing the ongoing investigation.
Soon after the investigations were launched, police officials learned that Tewes might have also separately made threats against his ex-wife. The Coconino County Sheriff’s Office is now investigating potential criminal charges for animal abuse and making threats.
Police officials told the Daily Sun last week that they would not elaborate on how the animal was killed, other than that a firearm was not used.
“This case is under both an administrative and criminal investigation,” Treadway said when asked today about the witness’ account. “A police officer or any other member of this community is entitled to due process and I’m prohibited by law from releasing information while this investigation is under way.”
However, Treadway says he’s personally been in contact with the dog owners and expressed the police department’s condolences.
“As the chief I want to assure the community that we are taking this situation very seriously and I will commit to … the community that once this investigation is complete we will share the entire investigation,” Treadway said.
Dog killed by police, owners outraged
by Brianna Smith
Posted: 09.06.2012 at 3:30 PM
A four year old pit bull was shot and killed by Horry County Police on Monday. The family says the dog wouldn’t harm anyone, but police say they are responsible to protect the public if they’re feeling threatened.
Monday morning, Horry County Police responded to an animal call in the Forestbrook neighborhood.
According to Horry County Police Interim Chief, Saundra Rhodes, “The neighbor was concerned about the safety of himself and his grandkids and because of a possible hole in the fence, the dog could get through, and so the officer wanted to go back and observe the threat itself.”
While the officer was in the backyard checking on the hole, Shadow, the pit bull, came through the hole.
“Based on the officers instincts, and based on what the report says, the animal was coming to him in a manner that made him feel threatened,” said Rhodes. “And so the officer unfortunately in a matter of seconds, you don’t have time to determine whether or not this animal was coming to play with you, but it’s my understanding that the animal was not coming up purring or that the animal was coming snarling towards them and the officer did not have an opportunity to gauge the friendliness of the animal.”
Shadow’s owner Jason Carvalho says the dog was like a family member, “he was like one of my children.”
Carvalho says he can’t believe that his dog would go after anyone.
The police report says that 4 shots were fired, and Carvalho feels like that is too many, but Rhodes doesn’t agree.
“I don’t believe that 4 shots are excessive,” said Rhodes. “I think that most of the time when people lose an animal one shot would be considered too many for them.”
Shadow’s owners plan to file a complaint with the Horry County Police Department.
Rhodes says she welcomes the chance to sit down with the owners and discuss the incident.
Shadow’s owners have set up a facebook page about their pet’s death.
Sheriff defends deputy who responded to wrong house, killed tethered dog
August 30, 2012
By: Terese Seaberg
The Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office announced Thursday that it would not be pursuing disciplinary action against a deputy who fatally shot a tethered dog earlier this week.
Richard Woodruff was inside his Spartanburg, S.C. home Monday morning when he heard barking followed by a gunshot. The man rushed outside to check on his 8-year-old shepherd mix, Diamond, who had been playing out front while tethered to the porch railing.
“I ran outside and I see this guy standing over my dog holding a gun,” Woodruff told Channel 7 news. “‘I said, ‘Why did you shoot my dog?’ And his response to me was, ‘Sir, she tried to bite me.’ I said, ‘She tried to bite you? She can’t go any further to get you!’”
According to Woodruff, the dog was at the limit of her tether and could not advance any further when she was shot by plain-clothed deputy Eric Boutin. “All he had to do was take a couple of steps back and she could not have bitten him,” Woodruff said in the Channel 7 interview.
Woodruff also pointed out the “Beware of Dog” sign attached to an oak tree on his lawn. The man states that the deputy parked his car in front of the sign and then walked right past it.
Following Diamond’s shooting, Woodruff learned that the deputy had come to the property to serve child support papers on a man who did not live there. As a matter of fact, Woodruff says that he has lived in the home for five years and has no idea who the man is.
Spartanburg County Sheriff Chuck Wright has expressed remorse over the incident, but states that Deputy Boutin will not be punished for the shooting of Diamond. Wright justified the shooting by saying that there was a chance the tether could have slipped off which would have resulted in Boutin being bitten.
Diamond’s bereaved owner is not satisfied with the department’s response and does not believe that his tethered 35 pound dog posed a serious risk to the deputy. He plans on pursuing legal action against the department.
Buffalo Woman Says Police Raided Wrong House, Killed Her Dog
By John Borsa
August 30, 2012 Updated Aug 31, 2012 at 7:17 AM EDT
BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) – When Rita Hairston’s husband died five years ago, she adopted a dog to keep her company and help her through an emotional time.
Prada was 5-years-old at the time. The black Labrador Retriever became more than a pet, but a part of Hairston’s family. A companion.
Last Saturday morning, she returned to her E. Morris Ave. house in University Heights in Buffalo and discovered her home had been broken into and Prada was missing.
There was a puddle of blood on the floor and bullet holes in the door of a bedroom where Prada slept.
But it was not a burglar who broke in. Hairston found a search warrant, signed by a judge, issued to the Erie County Sheriff’s Department, on her kitchen floor.
Hairston said police raided her home, searching for cocaine, connected to a man named Lance Thompson.
Hairston said she rents another home she owns to Thompson, who dates her daughter, but he does not live in her residence and she has absolutely no connection to his alleged illegal activities.
A spokesperson for the sheriff’s office said they had probable cause to search Hairston’s residence because Thompson’s alleged drug activities were suspected to take place from Hairston’s house on occasion. The home which she rents to Thompson was also searched.
Deputies were forced to shoot and kill Prada during the raid because he threatened them, the spokesman said.
No drugs were recovered from Hairston’s home.
Watch Eyewitness News at 11:00 Thursday night for more on this story.
Father concerned after police shoot dog near son
HOLLYWOOD, Fla. (WSVN) — The family of a dog shot by police is glad their pet survived, but the father is concerned after officers opened fire so close to his son.
The Jones’ family dog “Baxter” is recovering but can barely move after being shot several times.
Friday night, Pembroke Pines Police were called out to the Jones’ house along Southwest 171st Terrace after reports that Baxter was on the loose.
Thirteen-year-old Cameron Jones witnessed everything as police arrived. “When I got outside they said get your dog or we are going to shoot him,” said Cameron. “They gave me two seconds and shot him six times.”
The family immediately rushed Baxter to an animal hospital. “It just felt like a movie, I was so traumatized. It didn’t feel right that they shot him six times,” said Cameron.
Paul Jones, Cameron’s father, says what worries him is that the entire incident happened in front of his teenager. “My biggest concern is that six shots were fired 17-feet from my son,” he said. “Only three landed in the dog. Did the officer have my son’s safety in mind?”
Police say Baxter bit one of the officer’s ankles, forcing them to fire. But a neighbor says that story is doubtful. “I said, ‘Show me the bite marks.’ He said, ‘Well I am not going to let a dog bite the officer and then shoot.’ I said, ‘OK well then you’re changing the story,’” said the neighbor.
Cameron says he is happy his dog survived.
Paul hopes other families do not have to go through this experience, especially young family members. “I want that this doesn’t happen to another family,” he said. “My son is traumatized.”
The Pembroke Pines Police Department said they do not have a comment at this time.
St. Paul Cops Shoot Dog in Wrong-Door Raid, Force Handcuffed Kids to Sit Near the Corpse
Mike Riggs|Aug. 10, 2012 8:43 am
A St. Paul, Minnesota family claims in a lawsuit that police officers who conducted a wrong-door raid on their home shot their dog, and then forced their three handcuffed children to sit near the dead pet while officers ransacked the home. The lawsuit, which names Ramsey County, the Dakota County Drug Task Force, and the DEA, and asks for $30 million in civil rights violations and punitive damages after a wrong-door raid, also claims that the officers kicked the children and deprived one of them of her diabetes medication.
The suit also alleges that one of the lead officers with the task force “provided false information” in order to get a warrant to raid the Franco family’s home. (That information being the Franco family’s address, and not that of their supposedly criminal neighbor Rafael Ybarra.)
And boy, did Ybarra miss out on a horrific raid. Courthouse News reports:
But on the night of July 13, 2010, the task force broke down the Francos’ doors, “negligently raided the home of plaintiffs, by raiding the wrong home and physically brutalizing all the above-named occupants of said house,” the complaint states.
Even after learning that they were in the wrong house, the complaint states, the drug busters stayed in the Francos’ home and kept searching it.
They “handcuffed all of the inhabitants of the plaintiffs’ home except plaintiff Analese Franco who was forced, virtually naked, from her bed onto the floor at gunpoint by officers of the St. Paul Police Department SWAT team and officers of the St. Paul Police Department.”
The complaint states: “Upon forcibly breaching the plaintiffs’ home, defendants terrorized the plaintiffs at gun and rifle point.
“Each plaintiff was forced to the floor at gun and rifle point and handcuffed behind their backs.
“Defendants shot and killed the family dog and forced the handcuffed children to sit next to the carcass of their dead pet and bloody pet for more than an hour while defendants continued to search the plaintiffs’ home.”
One child “was kicked in the side, handcuffed and searched at gunpoint,” the family says.
Another child, a girl, “a diabetic, was handcuffed at gunpoint and prevented by officer from obtaining and taking her medication, thus induced a diabetic episode as a result of low-blood sugar levels.”
Shawn Scovill of the taskforce may have raided the wrong house, but he didn’t want to let the opportunity to rifle through someone’s things go to waste. So he and his team ransacked the Franco house for over an hour, and managed to find a .22 caliber pistol in the “basement bedroom of Gilbert Castillo,” which the suit says they attributed to the head of the Franco household, Roberto Franco. According to the suit, Franco was convicted of unlawful possession of a firearm, and remains behind bars. (If anyone can weigh in on the legal loophole that might allow evidence seized during a wrong-door raid to be used in court, please fill me in. Also, are Minnesota gun laws that strict?)
Since the DEA is named in the suit, the Francos’ legal team will likely find itself going head-to-head with Obama administration lawyers, who argued a similar case earlier this year before the Ninth Circuit. Short recap of the proceedings: The DOJ sought a summary dismissal of a lawsuit filed against seven DEA agents for their rough treatment of a family of four–mother, father, two very young daughters–during a wrong-door raid conducted during the Bush administration. The Ninth Circuit, denied the DOJ’s request for a summary dismissal, and drew a bright line between how adults are treated during raids, and how children are treated during raids.
So there’s reason to hope that any request of a summary dismissal of the Francos’ case (by local law or federal attorneys) won’t fly based simply on allegations that the children were cuffed, kicked, deprived of medicine, and made to sit near their dead pet for an hour. But I don’t think suing over the wrong-door aspect will get the Franco family very far, unless they can prove the mistake on the warrant was intentional and that the officers were aware of the address error before the raid was conducted.
DECATUR, Ala. (WHNT) – A dog was killed recently as the Morgan County Drug Task Force served a search warrant. Now, the Sheriff’s Office is fielding complaints about the animal’s death.
The dog was shot while the Morgan County Drug Task Force was conducting a search for illegal sales/possession of narcotics and marijuana at the Cedar Key Apartments in Decatur. Four people were arrested.
Someone has set up a Facebook page called ‘Justice for Aubie’, the golden retriever who was shot. Be warned, the Facebook page contains graphic pictures of the dog after it was shot.
It’s not clear who set up the page. It only says it was “created in honor of Aubie, a golden retriever who was shot and killed without reason during a search by Morgan County Sheriff’s Office.”
Sheriff Franklin said at a news conference that the information on the Facebook page is wrong. “The comments on Facebook are inaccurate,” Franklin said at a Monday afternoon news conference. “It’s false. It’s intended to mislead the public and to alarm them and aggravate them.”
Franklin says deputies were forced to shoot the dog when it lunged at them. She says comments that deputies should have called in animal services before deputies entered are ridiculous. Franklin says deputies were forced with a split second decision and they did the right thing.
Franklin also issued a warning. “If you’re a dope dealer and you’ve got a dog,” Franklin warned. “And you’ve got that dog to protect you, and you’ve got that dog to try and limit us, then you need to be aware of the fact that if it makes an aggressive move toward us, or anybody else, there is a possibility it’s going to be shot.”