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K-9 Bites Cop During Burglary Call

K-9 Bites Cop During Burglary Call

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San Francisco Chronicle via YellowBrix

December 18, 2009

ALAMEDA — An Alameda police dog trying to flush out a burglary suspect was shot and killed by an officer Thursday after the dog attacked her and bit her arm, a police spokesman said.

Billy, a Belgian Malinois, and his handler were among those responding to a burglary at the Coast Guard recruiting center at 660 Central Ave. shortly before 6:15 a.m., police Lt. Bill Scott said.

Billy bit a uniformed officer assisting on the call. The dog did not let go when his handler ordered him to do so, and the officer being bitten shot him three times, killing him, Scott said. The officer, whose name was not released, has been with the department two years. She was treated for bite wounds to her left arm at Highland Hospital in Oakland and was released.

Immediately after the dog was shot, burglary suspect Douglas Wayne Kirk, 56, emerged with items he had allegedly stolen but refused to surrender, Scott said. He was arrested after a brief struggle and was treated at Alameda Hospital for minor lacerations, police said.

He told officers that he was the one who was supposed to have been shot, Scott said. Police later determined that Kirk had called police himself to report the break-in, leading investigators to believe that Kirk had tried to set up a confrontation with police, Scott said.

Billy had been with the department for more than three years and was assigned to his current handler in September.

On May 5, another police Belgian Malinois died after being left inside an Alameda officer’s personal sport utility vehicle as the officer attended a use-of-force training exercise.

After several hours, the officer returned to his vehicle – which had at least one window down for ventilation – and found his dog near death. The dog died at a veterinary hospital. The officer was not charged.

Police said the handler in that case was not the officer who was Billy’s handler.

The department has suspended the use of its two remaining police dogs pending a review of “all the facets” of the K-9 program, including the circumstances that led up to Billy being deployed and his death, Scott said.

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