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Pit bulls' owner found guilty of disorderly conduct

Published: Fri, April 19, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.

SHARPSVILLE, Pa. -- The owner of two pit bulls shot and killed by police March 29 has been found guilty of disorderly conduct for his behavior immediately after the shootings.

Gene Blair, 23, of Walnut Street, also pleaded guilty to failure to have his dogs licensed and failure to renew their rabies vaccinations in a hearing Thursday before District Justice James McMahon.

Blair was found innocent of failure to confine his dogs.

Chief shot them

The two dogs were killed by Police Chief Bruce Rosa, who said he was forced to shoot the animals when they approached him in an aggressive manner, one about a block from its home, the other, in Blair's yard.

Rosa said one of the dogs also acted in a threatening manner against a pregnant woman and her 2-year-old son in the woman's driveway. Neighbors yelled and threw objects at the dog, which then moved away from the woman and her child, Rosa said.

Blair maintains that his dogs were not dangerous and had no bite history. They didn't have to be killed, he said, adding that he is seeking an explanation from police for their actions.

Blair was charged with disorderly conduct for becoming unruly when he arrived at the scene shortly after the shootings, police said.

Unlocked kennel

Blair said he doesn't know how the dogs got out of their locked chain link kennel. The lock on the gate was intact when he and his girlfriend left for work that morning but he found it unlocked after the dogs were killed, he said.

McMahon ordered Blair to pay $350 in fines and $185.50 in costs.


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