Friday, March 4, 2011

Pit bull shot and killed by Bethlehem police

By JD Malone, The Express-Times

Bethlehem police said a 36-year-old city man turned his pit bull loose on two people at his home this morning and an officer was forced to kill the dog.

Thomas Klotz, of the 500 block of Ontario Street, commanded his pit bull to attack Yolanda and Joshua Colon, at 4:32 this morning, police said. The three were involved in some sort of argument, according to police.

The dog bit both Colons and they were taken to St. Luke's Hospital in Fountain Hill for treatment. Police said the wounds were not life threatening.

Officers attempted to subdue the dog, but the animal was, "out of control," according to police, and an officer shot the dog with his service weapon, a Glock .40-caliber pistol.

The dog died, police said. The dog's body will be examined for rabies, to ensure it had gotten proper shots and other possible evidence.

Klotz was charged with simple assault, resisting arrest, reckless endangerment and harassment.

Update April 27, 2011 - The following article is by Sara K. Satullo, The Express-Times:
 
Charges against Bethlehem man accused of siccing dog on wife, brother-in-law dismissed

Charges were dismissed today against a 36-year-old Bethlehem man accused of turning his pit bull loose on his wife and brother-in-law in March, forcing officers to kill the dog.
No witnesses or prosecutor showed up to this afternoon's preliminary hearing for Thomas Klotz, of the 500 block of Ontario Street, before District Judge Nancy Matos Gonzalez.
Charges against Klotz can be refiled, Matos Gonzalez said. Bethlehem police contacted her office on April 15 to notify her that the officer who filed the charges had been hurt, undergone emergency surgery and was on leave indefinitely. Her office advised police to file for a continuance but it never occurred, she said.
Defense attorney Christopher Shipman then made a motion asking that the charges of simple assault, resisting arrest, reckless endangerment and harassment be dismissed, which Matos Gonzalez granted. Klotz remains in Northampton County Prison on unrelated charges.
Klotz commanded his pit bull to attack Joshua Colon, 33, of the 500 block of Sioux Street, at 4:32 a.m. March 4, police said. Colon and Klotz were fighting after Klotz punched his wife, Yolanda Colon, who is Joshua Colon's sister, police said.
The dog responded to Klotz's command by biting Colon's foot, which prompted Colon to fall, police said. Klotz and the dog pounced on Colon and the pair beat and bit him, police said.
Police arrived to find a a child in the street screaming, "My father is getting killed."
Joshua Colon was on the sidewalk bleeding from the face and mouth and from a large cut on his foot, police said. Yolanda Colon was also bitten by the dog as she tried to pry it off her brother during the fight, police said.
Both Colons were taken to St. Luke's Hospital in Fountain Hill for treatment of non-life threatening wounds.
Klotz struggled with officers Christopher Kopp and Loius Csaszar. The officers also attempted to subdue the dog, but the animal was, "out of control." An unidentified officer shot the dog with his service weapon, a Glock .40-caliber pistol, and it died.

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