By Michael P. McConnell, Daily Tribune
Police shot and killed a pit bull after they say it attacked an officer who was struggling with the dog’s owner during an arrest.
“While the officer did not want to have to take the life of the animal,” said Hazel Park Police Chief David Niedermeier, “he was justified in using the necessary force to eliminate the threat that the animal posed.”
The dog’s owner, Kevin Graves, 49, of Hazel Park was charged Friday in Hazel Park 43rd District Court with misdemeanor counts of domestic violence and marijuana possession. He is free on $1,500 bond.
A day earlier police said they were called to Graves’ girlfriend’s house in the 23300 block of Davey on a domestic assault complaint.
A fight started inside the house after the daughter of Graves’ girlfriend pulled a marijuana plant he was growing out of the ground, police said.
Neidermeier said Graves then assaulted the daughter’s boyfriend and threatened to kill him.
Police investigated the incident and determined they would arrest Graves for domestic violence.
“Graves was visibly upset, appeared intoxicated and began to resist the arresting officer as the officer struggled with Graves to gain control of his hands,” Niedermeier said.
The officer struggled with Graves as they both went out the back door of the house into the rear yard, police said. The dog, described as a large pit bull, came out of the house and charged at the officer just as he finished handcuffing Graves, police said.
“The animal continued to advance on the officer and pinned him against a large wooden fence,” Niedermeier said. “As the dog advanced the officer discharged his weapon at the animal, striking and killing it.”
Graves entered a not guilty plea at his arraignment. He is scheduled for a pre-trial hearing in Hazel Park District Court at noon July 14.