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Police Shoot Dogs That Chased Residents

SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Sheriff’s deputies shot and killed one Rottweiler and wounded another Friday morning after the dogs chased at least three residents of Pepperdine Circle, authorities said.

No people were injured.

“They made every effort to avoid shooting these dogs,” said Pepperdine Circle resident Tom Baldwin, a Moorpark Unified School District trustee. “It was not gun-happy police by any stretch of the imagination. . . . The officer only fired as a last resort.”

This was the second time in five days that police killed marauding Rottweilers in the east county. A Simi Valley police officer rammed and killed a Rottweiler with his patrol car Monday after people reported two vicious dogs were running amok in their neighborhood.

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The Police Department received almost two dozen calls in the aftermath of the Simi incident, many of them criticizing the officer’s action.

The latest incident occurred about 7 a.m. Friday in the quiet cul-de-sac when Baldwin was awakened by the sound of his front door slamming. Baldwin said his 19-year-old son had attempted to leave for work, but hurriedly retreated after sheriff’s deputies warned him that two large dogs were on the loose in the family’s front yard.

The dogs had earlier chased neighbor Manuel Barrera as he attempted to retrieve his morning newspaper, Baldwin said.

The dogs then went into Baldwin’s backyard, where an officer attempted to corral them by closing the garden gate while awaiting the arrival of animal control officers.

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“One was huge--it was as big as a Saint Bernard,” Baldwin said. “It was the biggest Rottweiler I had ever seen.”

However, the attempt to capture the dogs proved unsuccessful as the two animals charged one of the two officers, Baldwin said.

The larger dog attacked the officer twice and then ran away after being shot at, Baldwin and police said. The second dog then charged the deputy, who fired and hit the dog which also ran away.

The officers searched for the dogs, believing they had escaped up the street. But Baldwin discovered the smaller Rottweiler, a 7-months-old female, had retreated to his backyard where it was dying.

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Deputies tracked the larger dog, which had been struck by a different bullet, to its home on the 14000 block of Stanford Street, more than a quarter mile away. The dog was taken to a veterinary clinic where the owner declined to have it treated, officials said.

The department’s Personnel Bureau is investigating the incident because an officer fired a weapon, which is standard procedure.

But Baldwin said the police acted appropriately. “When they had to do what they had to do they were very professional,” said Baldwin. “I think the police handled this in the correct manner.”


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