Officer Shoots Pit Bull; Owner Claims Excessive Force

By: Jared Cerullo Email
By: Jared Cerullo Email

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Thursday, October 11, 2012

A Wichita woman is speaking out in anger after a police officer shot and killed her dog.

The officer said the dog was charging him and his own dog, but the woman and several of her neighbors call the officer's actions excessive.

Tina Calloway was almost home the night of Sept. 30 when she was pulled over by a police officer. Since she was right by her house, she pulled into her own driveway three blocks away. That's when things spiraled downhill.

"This could have easily been put down," Calloway explained of the window her dog jumped through.

Calloway's Pit Bull named Mister was inside the house. With the window partially open, Calloway says she was ordered to the ground while pleading with the officer to allow her to close the window.

"He was barking and I asked nicely, 'Can I please secure my window so my dog doesn't get out?' He started cussing more profanities saying he didn't care about my dog or about me," Calloway said. "He just wanted me to comply."

Calloway got down on her knees and put her hands behind her back. But because she drove the three blocks to her driveway in order to feel safer, police charged her with evading and eluding and arrested her.

Of most concern to Calloway, however, was that the dog was allowed to continue barking for 45 minutes. Everyone was getting more and more frustrated, including the dog.

"I'm sitting here on the ground and I'm still asking, begging for my dog," Calloway said. "The third time he said no, in my gut, I knew he just wanted him to get out. That was my gut feeling."

Mister nudged the window open far enough and darted out through the screen and ran toward the officer's own K-9.

"The dog gets out and runs up to us with his tail wagging," Calloway explained. "He's sniffing their dog. Of course, he's jumping out running this direction, but his head was down and the guy just shoots him."

Mister was shot three times in the head.

"My dog falls in the street right there dead," Calloway said as she broke down. "And their dog is out of control, too. They're trying to chase it down and, at this point, all my neighbors are crying and just mortified about what just happened."

"I thought it was way too much," said neighbor Susan Sontag. "I mean, there could have been kids out here. We were out here in the middle of the sidewalk and they were just shooting. I don't even know if they knew exactly what they were shooting at. The dog was running down the street. He was not vicious."

The officer wrote in his report that the dog was charging him and his K9 aggresively, but Calloway disagrees with that. She says if she would have just been allowed to close the window, none of this would have happened.

The Wichita Police Department declined to comment for this story due to Calloway's pending claim for damages.

So far this year, there have been 11 dogs shot by Wichita Police officers. In all of last year, there were 14 dog shootings.

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