Sunday, March 20, 2011

Pit bull bites APD officer while making a call

By Pete Skiba, Albany Herald

An Albany Police Department officer encounters confusion on a domestic violence call and is bitten by a pit bull

An officer suffered a pit-bull bite to his left leg above the knee, the dog was uninjured and everyone on the street had an opinion.
This much is certain — an Albany Police Department officer responding to a 500 block of Ninth Avenue domestic violence call at about 4:20 p.m. Saturday was bitten by “Bird,” a pit bull, and the officer fired at least two shots.
Phyllis Banks, police spokeswoman, did not immediately release the officer’s name.
“Every time an officer fires his weapon, an investigation is undertaken,” Banks said. “Internal affairs is on the scene and an investigation will determine what happened and when the shots were fired.”
According to people on the street and police reports, an officer hopped about a 3-foot fence around the wrong house and encountered a red pit bull that weighs at least 60 pounds. After that, what happened depends on who is talking in the neighborhood.
The dog’s owner, Alexander Brown, said he doubted officers would respond in the same way if they were called to a domestic on an affluent neighborhood’s street.
“If this happened in Doublegate, they wouldn’t be shooting,” Brown said. “He started shooting and all my friends hit the ground and left.”
There were more than 20 people on the street, including mothers and toddlers standing, walking and talking.
With all the activity, some yelling and numerous police personnel, the atmosphere was confusing a half-hour after the officer was bitten.
A couple people, such as Earl Bridges, said the officer began firing at the dog and missed several times. At least two spent cartridges sat on the ground inside the fence.
“He jumped the fence, and we kept yelling and pointing at next door, the fight was next door,” Bridges said. “All the other cops listened to us. He didn’t. He didn’t have to start firing.”
Bridges had about 12 people in his 523 Ninth Ave. backyard when the police began arriving to quell a domestic disturbance next door at 525 Ninth Ave. There were no alcoholic beverages spotted on a backyard table where Brown and friends had gathered.
“We didn’t have nothing to do with it,” Brown said as he showed the required rabies tags on Bird’s collar. “Now they are impounding my dog. The dog isn’t hurt, the only thing hurt is my feelings.”
There was no information immediately available about the domestic violence call.

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