City Cop Discharges Firearm For the First Time in 25 Years; Fatally Wounds Attacking Canine
Dayton Daily News via YellowBrix
April 13, 2010
OAKWOOD — A city police officer fatally shot a resident’s dog last month while responding to a disturbance call in what Public Safety Director Alex Bebris said he believed was the first time an Oakwood officer has discharged his firearm in at least 25 years.
Police responded to 342 Wisteria Drive about 1 p.m. Saturday, March 27, on a 911 hang-up call with sounds of a fight in the background, Bebris said.
Officer Brad Liston, in his incident report, said while other officers went to the door, he was walking through the fenced side yard and looking into the house when a “dark-colored chow-type dog” began growling at him from a doghouse. Liston said he backed up toward the gate, but the dog ran at him with teeth bared.
“When the dog was about 2-3 feet away, attacking me, trapped inside the fence with no other place to go, I shot the dog several times until it fell to the ground,” Liston wrote.
After officers made contact with Lidiya Winkler, the resident who called 911, Liston said he “humanely put the dog down with a lethal shot to the back of its head.”
Oakwood Register editor Lance Winkler, the owner of the home, said he didn’t believe police were justified in the shooting. Winkler said the “chow-Keeshond mix” was on a tether that would have prevented him from reaching the gate.
“There was a reasonable path of retreat,” said Winkler, who was not home at the time of the shooting.
Police Capt. Dave Lantz said Liston was still in the tether’s range when the dog charged, which put him at risk.
“The officer was trying to back up, and the dog was attacking,” Lantz said. “The tether would not have protected him where he was. We’ve met with Mr. Winkler, and we know it’s a traumatic thing that your dog of 13 years gets shot. It’s something everyone hates.”
Bebris said Oakwood police studied the officer’s use of force and found no rule violation, closing the case with no discipline for Liston.
“It was an unstable situation, and I can understand how the decision was made,” Bebris said. “It’s an unfortunate thing, and it’s a very unusual occurrence for us in Oakwood, but is it unusual for police in general? No.”
According to Winkler and police, the same dog bit a cable TV contractor on the property years earlier, with Winkler saying the dog “had a little thing for people in uniform.”
Police handling the original disturbance call at the house arrested a 16-year-old male on a charge of domestic violence and took him to county juvenile detention.