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Youngstown police shoots ‘aggressive’ dog 13 times

Published: Mon, April 13, 2009 @ 10:20 p.m.
  Dog Shot Multiple Times

A 7 month old dog was shot multiple times by a Youngstown Police Officer.

A 7 month old dog was shot multiple times by a Youngstown Police Officer.

YOUNGSTOWN — Curtis Moses said he understands that police officers have a job to do, but he said one Youngstown officer went too far.

Moses’ 7-month-old Akita dog, Diva, was fatally shot 13 times April 5 during police pursuit of juveniles who’d been driving down South Side streets and shooting.

But Youngstown’s police chief says the situation called for a quick decision to protect police officers.

The driver of the 1998 Pontiac had fled from police, and pulled into a front yard on Lucius Avenue.

There, officers chased the five suspects on foot, a police report states.

One of the five was followed into the East Lucius Avenue home of Moses and Darcel Gilmore. Officers were met inside the house by the couple’s 42-pound dog.

The teenager ran down the basement stairs to hide. When officers opened the basement door from the kitchen, “the dog approached Officer [Ryan] Laatsch in an aggressive manner,” the police report states.

There were three officers in the house.

“Officer Laatsch, who already had service weapon drawn due to the circumstances of the situation, shot approximately five to six times striking the dog ... then shot the dog approximately five to six more times ...then shot the dog one more time directly in the top of his head from only a few inches away,” the report stated.

“I know you have to do your job, but they overdid it,” said Moses, who has no relationship to the teenager that ran into the house.

One of the other juveniles was Gilmore’s son, but does not live at the East Lucius Avenue residence, Moses said.

For the complete story, see Tuesday’s Vindicator and Vindy.com


1metz87(884 comments)posted 5 years ago

Wasn't once enough? I mean come on 13 times 4 for sure would have killed it.

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2bluegill(21 comments)posted 5 years ago

ok, so officer Laatsch had to RELOAD to kill a dog in the close quarters of a house? DAMN!

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3JD010101(137 comments)posted 5 years ago

If this was in struthers and mamula was still mayor he would have had the officer written up.

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42blave(24 comments)posted 5 years ago

once or 13 ... what does it matter? I don't think that police should have to deal with anyone's dog when they are pursuing suspects.

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5boardmanneedschange(364 comments)posted 5 years ago

I would be interested to find out how many rounds the son fired of at random in the southside that day.

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6ads(109 comments)posted 5 years ago

You have got to be kidding me this officer felt the need to shoot a 7 month old puppy 13 times. Sounds to me like he over reacted, maybe a bit too much testosterone running through his veins.

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7gmann415(268 comments)posted 5 years ago

the only sad part to this story is, is that the cop shot the wrong thug. oops, i ment thug. this thug wants to show reporters as to where the dog was shot at. well why dont he show reporters the houses he and his friends were driving around shooting up. nothing but punks who think they are making a name for themselves. how bout we send these thugs behind enemy lines in this war we are in.

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8gmann415(268 comments)posted 5 years ago

it is so sad that this dog had to pay the ultimate price for his owners actions. i hope next time the cop gets the right suspect. and as for now lets grieve for this poor little dog. after all it wasnt his fault.

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9terrancesarco(41 comments)posted 5 years ago

boo hoo hoo poor little doggy my arse if you read the story the cops found cocaine and gun supplies. lucius ave is gang territory and the little doggy owner should thank his lucky stars that the police officier didn't use his weapon on him. there is more to the story then the little doggy owner wants us to know. keep your ear to the ground for the rest of the story.

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10metz87(884 comments)posted 5 years ago

Was there anytihng left of the dog after they shot it 13 times?

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11gmann415(268 comments)posted 5 years ago

i wonder if this thug a$$punk going to show the reporters the houses he and his gangbanging thug friend shot up. Terrancesarco) it is sad that the dog has died. the dog cant help the way its owner raised it.

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12metz87(884 comments)posted 5 years ago

it was protecting it's home turf.

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13gmann415(268 comments)posted 5 years ago

common are we sticking up for a dog or for a punk a$$ THUG.? 13 shots may have been to much yes but understand this. the cop had to protect himself and his department. these thugs turned the dog loose on them in hopes to get away. the dog was probably fed drugs. and that is probably why the dog never stood down after the first two shots. what if these punks shot up your house? you wouldnt be sitting here saying poor dog. and yes again it is a shame. but after all it is the thugs fault.

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14AtownParent(558 comments)posted 5 years ago

The dog was fed drugs, are you serious? Akitas are an aggressive breed, but if that puppy was that aggressive then it would have attacked the teenager who ran in the basement as well. I think this officer shot until the dog stopped breathing, which is not appropriate. 13 times is excessive. Oh and lets be honest, a 42 pound dog is not that big, that is a medium sized dog at best. While I do believe the officer had every right to defend himself against an attack of a dog, 13 times goes way beyond defending himself, especially since he was able to put his revolver within inches of the dog's head and fire, that dog was down and severely injured by that point. Not necessary at all.

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15gmann415(268 comments)posted 5 years ago

first of all, this guy says he didnt know the punk who ran into his house. ha ha ha. it must be something that happens everyday, i guess people everyday run into someones house that they dont know. well i got something for you, you run thru my door im shooting first and asking questions latter. and yes this dog can be mean. so obviously this dog knew tgis kid and thats why he wasnt bit.

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16scrooge(563 comments)posted 5 years ago

OK do the editors know this blog is posted twice with the same story?

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17blkpride(186 comments)posted 5 years ago

no scrooge, they don''t. We are talking about the Vindicator here. They can't event get the story right. What makes you think that they can edit one properly?

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18morphinekissesx(2 comments)posted 5 years ago

I think half of you people are pathetic. The dog was INNOCENT and it didn't deserve to die. Let's say some punk ass kid ran into your house when you weren't home.. Officers ran into your house and killed YOUR 7 month old dog and said, "It came towards me in an aggressive manner. So I shot it 12 times then I shot at it once more and that was the final blow that killed your dog." What would you have to say then? Also, I don't know about you people but if the cops are chasing me.. I wouldn't run into someone's house I know, I would run into an abandoned apartment building or a house that didn't look like anyone was home. Maybe that's just me but if the cops are coming after me, I sure as heck don't want them coming to my friend's house or my parent's house. And another thing, Diva's owner wasn't involved in this. Diva's owner has a son who was involved in the shooting but the son didn't run home, another person ran into Diva's owner's house when he wasn't home. I could be wrong but from what I read and heard, that is how the story goes. Either way, it honestly doesn't matter what happened, who did what or even where it happened. Shooting a 7 month old puppy 13 times is just ridiculous and thus, the officer who shot and killed Diva, should be fired, fined, and thrown in jail. Simple as that. That was over-kill and that was also animal abuse. The officer had no right killing Diva because there is no way she came towards them in an aggressive manner. 7 month old puppies aren't aggressive, at all at least all the puppies I've came in contact, weren't aggressive with me, they were playful and adorable. I wonder.. If a small child was injured or even killed, would the officer be fined or even thrown in jail? Oh, probably not. The officer would probably say, "I heard a noise and then something came towards me, I didn't know what it was but I didn't like the way it came at me, so I killed it." Pathetic. I wish someone would wake up and have Officer Laatsch fined and thrown in jail. I'm done ranting..

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19blkpride(186 comments)posted 5 years ago

so morph, the cop should have let him bite?!?! You are out of touch with reality. You were not there. You have no clue so shut you pie hole. I am sick you you monday morning quarterbacks who can even pass the simple entrance exam to become a police officer let alone pass the backgound check. I am not even going to mention your basic lack of courage to do the jo in the first place. Get over it it was a dog

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20TheCritic(23 comments)posted 5 years ago

so morph, the cop should have let him bite?!?! You are out of touch with reality. You were not there. You have no clue so shut you pie hole. I am sick you you monday morning quarterbacks who can even pass the simple entrance exam to become a police officer let alone pass the backgound check. I am not even going to mention your basic lack of courage to do the jo in the first place. Get over it it was a dog

Don't look now but your officer's badge is showing?
I wonder how you passed the entrance exam although it can't be that hard because you can become a cop at 19 with only 6 months training. How hard is that?

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21TheCritic(23 comments)posted 5 years ago

The suspect hiding in the basement was arrested on obstructing official business charges.

Isn't there anyone who finds this charge ironic? Why not charge this kid with firing a weapon? If the kids were shooting as they were driving, as the police claimed, they would have found a gun or guns. Why not test his hands for gun powder?

THe only fact we know for sure is that the police fired a gun 13 times. The cop should be charged. He was all charged up with the excitement of a chase. The dog probably wasn't aggressive--this is not characteristic of a puppy. It probably startled the cop. Therefore he started shooting. It reminds me of a person who "accidently" shoots another 6 times. Once is understandable but multiple times is hard to justify.

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22williebee(1 comment)posted 5 years ago

I'm very sad for this families loss,any cop that needs 13 shots to protect his self from a 7 month old puppy doesn't need to be in public with a gun.You citizens of this town should feel real safe with a cop like this running around town armed.I would hate to know he was my backup with a aim like hes got.I take it the only reason he was able to get the 13th shot in this dogs head is because it could not move.You are a danger to the public and need your gun and badge took away before this is someones child next time.

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23drsatan75(1 comment)posted 5 years ago

does know one read the full article one of the 5 suspects was releated to the people in the house. That means the dog already knew the kid thats why he didnt attack the kid. the punk ass kid knew what he was doing when he ran into the house you dont run into a strangers house that you dont no if you are hiding from the cops unless your taking hostages. all poor dog this dog was doing what it was trained to do dont blame the officer blame the owner that trained its dog. and blame them for raisisng a punk ass kid that has to drive by and shoot innocent peoples houses. there you go you shooot innocent peoples houses your parents dog gets shot eye for an eye

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24T1(3 comments)posted 5 years ago

whats truly sad is this story has generated so many posts yet the 11 boy who was gunned down in warren and killed by a drive by shooter only gets several posts. get priority people.

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25kipper(3 comments)posted 5 years ago

There isn't enough money in the world to make me want to be a policeman. Shootings of any kind in Youngstown are not news, just every day occurances. Keep your head down and hope you aren't caught in the crossfire.

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26JD010101(137 comments)posted 5 years ago

Mamula Sr. says to use a nightstick on aggressive dogs. Bad Dog, Bad Dog!!! OUCH!!

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