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Youngstown police shoot ‘aggressive’ dog 13 times



Published: Tue, April 14, 2009 @ 12:10 a.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.

photo

Curtis Moses of Youngstown said he understands that police officers have a job to do, but he said one Youngstown officer went too far. Moses’ 7-month-old dog, Diva, was fatally shot about 13 times during a pursuit of felony suspects. He shows off the spent bullets and marks and holes on the floor left behind in the wake of the shooting on his E Lucius in Youngstown home.

By Katie Seminara

The dog was killed by a police officer during the search for a suspect on the South Side.

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 shot 13 times and killed 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 who 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.

When the basement door was opened, Diva had been trained to come upstairs to be let outside. The dog never had any problems with the neighbors nor any history of aggressiveness, he said. “She was still a puppy — still playful,” Moses said.

“If she was so vicious, why wouldn’t she attack the stranger who ran into the basement?” he asked.

Akitas can weigh about 100 pounds when fully grown.

Dave Nelson, Mahoning County deputy dog warden, said they are generally a breed to use caution around. Akitas are generally protective of their family and property, he said.

Police Chief Jimmy Hughes said officers had few options.

“For the most part, the [situation] came about in fast succession, within close quarters and the officers had little place to go,” Hughes said.

The kitchen where the dog was shot is about 7 feet by 15 feet, Moses estimated.

“The dog was coming after the officer and he was in fear for his life and the lives of the other officers,” Hughes said.

Officers are taught to use force when necessary and Laatsch didn’t have much room or time to defend himself, he said.

“It’s unfortunate that it was as many rounds as it was, but he fired until the dog ceased to attack,” Hughes said.

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

Officers found a box of live ammunition, as well as a scale and a bag of suspected cocaine near the suspect’s hiding place, the report states. The items were collected as evidence, but no one is charged in connection with the items.

Moses and Gilmore said their dog and home were innocent bystanders to the episode that left their dog dead and kitchen with seven bullet holes in the floor, as well damage to their walls and refrigerator.

“That was a daughter,” Gilmore said of Diva.

“I’m messed up; we raised her since she was 5 weeks old,” Moses added.

Officers should have used a different kind of force, such as pepper spray, the couple said.

“It was just a senseless killing,” Moses said.

“I don’t know if restitution is in order at this time” for the dog and house owners, Hughes said.

Taser guns may have been an alternative to shooting the animal, but officers aren’t equipped with that kind of weapon, he said.

“I don’t encourage officers to shoot their guns unless it’s a life-threatening situation,” Hughes said. “In this case, they felt it was life-threatening.”


Comments

1HundredReasons(31 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

Barny Fife lives. 13 times, until the dog stopped attacking? Life-threatening, a 7-month old dog? I weep for the YPD and their sorted sense of reality.

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2boardmanneedschange(364 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

I would be interested to find out how many rounds her son fired at random that day while driving around the southside.

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3gmann415(268 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

the cop fired at the wrong suspect.

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4gmann415(268 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

its funny to see comments being removed. what does the truth hurt. where is our freedom of speech or our freedom of expression? too bad the cop didnt save a few rounds for the thugs.

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5henryviii1509(274 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

With ammunition prices so high, I think that maybe a little practice time on the range is in order.

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6ads(109 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

Never new it would take 13 shots to kill a puppy. Wonder how he would have reacted if it were a 200lb man. Nice job, again another animal the victim of society.

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7gmann415(268 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

maby the dog was high. maby they fed the dog gun pouder or crack or something. drugs can affect animals. the cop should of reloaded after shooting the dog and then shooting the thugs. i hope now this dog is resting in peace. as for his owners they should pay the ultimate price

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8Morbidcherub(30 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

13 shots to kill a 42 lb dog? I cant wait to see what happens when a real vicious dog - not a puppy- rushes at the cops. They might need an AK-47 to take care of that one. Typical behavior by the useless cops in Youngstown. What a joke.

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9BREEZY44507(7 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

I THINK THIS MAN NEEDS TO SUE THE CITY. THIS IS JUST ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF RECKLESS ACTS FROM AUTHORITY. THIS IS THE REASON PEOPLE DO NOT SUPPORT THE POLICE. WHAT IF THIS MAN HAD A SMALL CHILD RUNNING UP THE BASEMENT STEPS AND BUSTED THE DOOR OPEN. THE COP COULD HAVE SHOT THE CHILD BY MISTAKE TOO. ANY POLICE OFFICER WHO CAN'T HANDLE A 42 LB. DOG DEFINATELY CAN'T HANDLE A CRIMINAL.

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10barbiedoll(8 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

THIS DOG ACTED EXACTLY HOW A TRAINED DOG SHOULD. I HOPE THAT IF SOMEONE CHARGED INTO MY HOME IN THIS WAY....MY DOG WOULD PROTECT JUST AS THE DOG IN THIS CASE DID. AND HOW SCARY THAT USUALLY WHEN MY DOG IS RUNNING, MY 2 YEAR OLD IS NOT VERY FAR BEHIND.....WOULD THE OFFICER BE ABLE TO CONTROL HIS REACTION AT THAT POINT OR WOULD HE "FEAR" FOR HIS LIFE SO MUCH FROM THIS VERY "LARGE" DOG THAT HE WOULD KEEP SHOOTING. HMMMMM, TO SERVE AND TO PROTECT......

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11boardmanneedschange(364 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

Barbie, does your 2 year old son drive around the southside and fire weapons at random? This dog owners son did, and the police witnessed it happen.

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12ads(109 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

we are talking about the excessive amount of shots for one dog, Barbie I believe, was stating her son is not far behind her dog when running around the house and would that office be able to control his actions in that instant. Come on Boardman you seem smarter than that. No one is denying the fact the son should have been aprehended, but will our jails hold him or let him go because their too full?

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13mvtm(1 comment)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

I think that cop should get a real gun.

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14barbiedoll(8 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

IT COULD HAPPEN, EVEN THOUGH IN THIS CASE, THE SUSPECT WAS FAMILIAR WITH THE HOME HE WAS RUNNING INTO. BUT IT'S NOT UNREALISTIC TO THINK THAT SOMEONE CAN RUN IN ANY RANDOM HOUSE TO HIDE...AND WHO DOESN'T HAVE DOGS AND KIDS THESE DAYS.....LET'S FACE IT......THE OFFICER HAD NO BUSINESS SHOOTING A DOG 12 TIMES AND THEN THE 13TH TIME...CLOSE RANGE AND NOT NECESSARY....WHO CAN DISAGREE WITH THAT?? ALMOST LIKE THE OFFICER SAID "TAKE THAT" SINCE I COULDNT CATCH THE SUSPECT!

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15boardmanneedschange(364 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

I am simply defending a police officer from some criminals mom suing the city so there can be less cops to chase her crazazy kids around and make them stop shooting. Perhaps if we had more excessive penalties then we would have less crime. Steal and lose your hand. Shoot and get shot, kill and be killed. Incidentally, the officer had enough heart to finish the dog off quickly. I'm sure I am coming off as heartless, but if these people can't raise a human to not senselessly break the law, then what right do they have raising an animal?

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16barbiedoll(8 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

THANK GOD FOR POLICE OFFICERS THAT PUT THEIR LIVES AT RISK EVERY DAY.......BUT I HAVE NO WORDS FOR THE ONES THAT CAN EMPTY A WEAPON ON A DOG PROTECTING IT'S HOME....AND IF THE DOG WAS STILL ALIVE AFTER BEING SHOT AT 12 TIMES AND THE OFFICER NEEDED TO SHOOT ONE MORE TIME CLOSE RANGE....THAT'S NOT FINISHING A DOG OFF QUICKLY...THAT IS BAD SHOOTING! GET SOME TARGET PRACTICE.....BETTER YET...HOW ABOUT A TASER OR PEPPER SPAY AND THE FAMILY DOG WOULD STILL BE ALIVE. AND BY THE WAY....THE DOG WOULD HAVE PROBABLY CAUGHT THE CRIMINAL!

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17BREEZY44507(7 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

THE POINT I'M TRYING TO MAKE IS THAT YES THE CRIMINALS SHOULD BE APPREHENDED. BUT AT WHAT COST? ANY MEANS NECESSARY? IF WE KEEP LETTING THESE OUT OF LINE COPS MAN HANDLE SITUATIONS YOU WILL BE THE NEXT ONE WHO IS PULLED OVER ON YOUR WAY TO THE HOSPITAL GETTING A TICKET INSTEAD OF TREATMENT. IT COMES DOWN TO DISCRETION. SOME ARE BUILT TO HAVE IT AND OTHERS AREN'T. THOSE THAT AREN'T SHOULD NOT HAVE JOBS OF AUTHORITY. ALL YOU HAD TO DO WAS KICK THE DOG. IT WAS A PUPPY. HE SIMPLY TOOK OUT HIS FRUSTRATION OF NOT CATCHING THE SUSPECTS ON THE PUPPY.

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18DontVote4Jay(5 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

maybe if the owners of the house didnt have a drug house and a criminal as a son who was shooting up the south side they wouldnt need an aggressive dog-the owners are upset about their dog?! maybe they need to worry a little more about their raising good kids-oops too late-guess their mad about losing their crack and drug scales-as for you barbie- u do not have the nerve to or intelligence to do what these men and women do everyday

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19barbiedoll(8 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

WELL- DONTVOTE4JAY- YOU DONT HAVE THE INTELLIGENCE TO KNOW THAT ALL CRIMINALS DO NOT COME FROM BAD PARENTS.....THE CRIMINAL DID NOT LIVE IN THAT HOUSE...I'M SURE THERE IS A REASON FOR THAT! SO HER TRYING TO DO THE RIGHT THING BY NOT LETTING HER CRIMINAL SON LIVE THERE GOT HER DOG SHOT....I'M SORRY....I SHOULD SAY....GOT HER PUPPY BRUTALIZED.

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20caparo5309(1 comment)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

13 times? I find it hard to believe the puppy kept coming after the first shot. I'd like to know why some other means was not used, like pepper spray. Think for a moment of how long that brave policeman had to aim and fire that many shots.
Too bad the poor pup didn't get to sink his teeth into the jerk. Yeah, thats the kind of mentality we have on the force, such a brave man.

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21boardmanneedschange(364 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

A brave man who walked into the home of a woman who is currently facing felony obstruction of justice charges. A brave man who walked into the home of a man who has a criminal record of his own that includes several receiving stolen property charges as well as fleeing and eluding.... Do you even know who you are trying to defend? I agree that the dog was a victim here, but are you 100 percent positive that the dog wasn't raised to do exactly what it did? I personally will trust the officers judgement on this one, due to the past history of the people in the home and the actions of their kids, who must have felt safe enough in the home to run there in the first place. Had they not been out shooting up the town in the first place, this would not have happened. I would not have run to the first news outlet I could find if I had a past that would no doubt cast a shadow on my credibility.

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22Lammy104(1 comment)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

A 42 lb dog is not very big really and to shoot a 42 lb dog 13 times is just so out of line. To shoot that size of a dog 13 times would leave this poor animal almost unrecognizable. I lost my dog last Jan. and she was about 40 lbs. To then shoot the dog in the head is animal cruelty. There is no way to cover that up, unlless YPD thinks we are all stupid. The Cops need to apolojize the the dog owners for their poor judgement. There was three of them and one 42 lb dog. I 'm very sorry for their loss. The sight of their dog shot up like that, I'm sure they cannot sleep very well if at all. Oh and by the way I was mauled by a dog as a kid and I understand about being afraid of a strange dog. There is no excuse for shooting a 42 lb dog 13 times, none.

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23DontVote4Jay(5 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

It was not a 42lb puppy-don't always believe what you are told in the press-the dog was large and it was going to attack the officers-i'm glad they did what they did

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24curtmo(4 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

Boardmanneedschange YOU NEED 2 DO MORE RESEARCH!!!!! The woman w/the charges that u know nothing about is a hard working mother that again the YPD trunked up charges on that happened last summer!!!! The criminal MAN that u KNOW NOTHING about is a YSU STUDENT & a CHILD CARE WORKER!!!!! Not 2 mention SEVERAL other kids that r HONOR-ROLL STUDENT& VERY VERY GOOD ATHLETES!!!!! DO MORE RESEARCH B4 U POINT THE FINGER!!!!

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25curtmo(4 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

DontVote4jay GO 2 Petsmart&the ANIMAL CHARITY 2 c how much she weighed!!! Oh by the way we leave her up there 4 hrs 2(BY HER SELF!!!) I hope this inexperienced officer doesn't make his way 2 ur front steps & MISTAKE someone as a threat!! THANK GOD YOU don't work the force!!!!

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26Animal_Lover(1 comment)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

My heart goes out to the family of Curtis Moses. I know that a lot has been said, and a lot of speculation has been made in regards to what this family may or may not have been involved in.

This is secondary to the issue at hand.

The 7 month old puppy committed no crime. According to the facts presented, the officer's course of action was unwarranted. Is it alright that the dog was fatally shot? 13 times? No, there is no justifying that.

I think Jimmy Hughes was largely unsympathetic when discussing the issue. He should have apologized, instead of attempting to justify the officer's actions. Even if the officer feared for his life because the puppy growled at him, his actions were excessive. No excuse.

The officer should be punished, but instead, the dog will be considered collateral damage. A "too bad, so sad" situation.

I am a member of ASPCA (among other animal rights organizations). Our slogan is "We are their voice". A message should be sent that this is not ok.

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27gmann415(268 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

i feel bad for the dog but the cops do what they have to do to protect themselves. this punk thug turned his dog loose on the cops in hopes to get away. the dog was probably high on dope that these thugs give them. these punks should be lucky the cops didnt empty their clips into them. by the way this curtis moses is showing everyone the damage the police did. is curtis showing everyone the damage he has done to the the public?

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28FifthAve(169 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

A 40 pound, 7 month old dog scares a cop so much he shoots it 13 times? This rookies has a trigger finger.

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29FifthAve(169 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

After reviewing the cops' account, I wonder why they didn't shoot at the car when they realized the kids were shooting? Could it be that kids were not shooting but the cops made up the story. They fabricate stories, especially on teens, to cover up for their own errors in judgement. Think about this! They chased these kids on foot? These are kids that fired randomly? Something here does not ring true. These cops were playing cat and mouse with these teenagers.

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30Smith24(4 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

gmann...read the article again...you are a moron!!!

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31metz87(884 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

the dog being shut is like killng person fr no reason. I honestly don't blive everything the police say,they do cover up their mistakes al lthe time.

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32hubbardED(2 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

well let me just throw my 2 cents in. If you have never had an Akita and don't know the breed, then some of you shouldn't be commenting about
these dogs being agressive. That they are not. Akita's are a very tolerant dog of abusive behavior and have a high will of being self controlled. They are very hard to be traind for agressive behavior because they are SELF CONTROLED.( NO MATTER WHO IS TRYING TO TRAIN THEM TO BE) Although they are very protective of there home and family inside. they do not bark at all. period.... they do not bite.. period...no matter how they are trained. they are very TOLERANT DOGS. for all of you who have commented about this dog being agressive from what you read ,about it meeting the officer at the door of the steps... please if that's agressive then i guess the police should stay away from my house, because when my 135lb GENTLE GIANT(akita) meets you at the front door, i'm sure the officer would put a present in his pants. and if someone would come into my home he would be the first to knock them to the ground and keep them there to help arrived. they are breed to protect their family and that's just what this dog did. and i would just like to know if the officer said this dog barked at him, because it dosen't say in the article, because if he said it did then you know he is not telling the truth these dogs do NOT BARK they woo....woo.. almost whine... not barking...

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33pistol399(2 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

Again, I think that the officer was way out of line. To empty his service weapon on a 42 lb dog is way out of line. The dog was an innocent victim of the human race.

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34boardmanneedschange(364 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

curtmo said....."Boardmanneedschange YOU NEED 2 DO MORE RESEARCH!!!!! The woman w/the charges that u know nothing about is a hard working mother that again the YPD trunked up charges on that happened last summer!!!! The criminal MAN that u KNOW NOTHING about is a YSU STUDENT & a CHILD CARE WORKER!!!!! Not 2 mention SEVERAL other kids that r HONOR-ROLL STUDENT& VERY VERY GOOD ATHLETES!!!!! DO MORE RESEARCH B4 U POINT THE FINGER!!!!"

I'm sorry curt, I just looked up the facts and convictions on the Mahoning County Courts page, which is public record. I didn't know that there is a backstory and that every time someone gets convicted of a crime that they have a good excuse or that the Y.P.D. is so struggling for an arrest that they routinely frame innocent people. My bad. I just look at the things that human resources directors look at when doing background checks, and make my decisions from there. And I noticed that you don't deny that they are in fact the people I wrote of. The addresses tell the story sir, and I was simply stating that the presence of two people with a criminal history might have helped the officer along in his decision to fire.

Incidentally, it seems from your communication skills that you are in fact not attending YSU, but the tupac school for english composition.

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35BREEZY44507(7 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

JUST BECAUSE SOMEONE HAS A PAST RECORD DOESN'T MEAN THEY'RE BREAKING THE LAW NOW. AND THAT DOESN'T MAKE IT OK FOR THE POLICE TO HAVE THE RIGHT TO DO WHAT THEY DID BASED ON SOMEONE AT THAT HOME HAVING A PREVIOUS RECORD. PEOPLE CAN CHANGE. NOT EVERYONE THAT LIVES ON THE SOUTHSIDE IS INTO CRIMINAL ACTIVITY. IF THAT OFFICER WAS LEARY ABOUT ENTERING THE HOME HE SHOULD HAVE CALLED FOR BACK UP FIRST. IMAGINE THE NEXT TIME HE DOESN'T USE DISCRETION. THIS TIME IT WAS A DOG. NEXT TIME IT COULD BE A CHILD.

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36brj(5 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

under age thugs. oh my poor babies!!!!! get real people cops are doing there job! if you think you can do better join the force. i hate youngstown of this stupid stuff. if the parents would control the kids this wouldnt happen but of course welfare and who's your daddy kids. sick

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37barbiedoll(8 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

LET'S FACE IT THAT NO ONE KNOWS WHAT POLICE OFFICERS ARE GOING THROUGH WHEN THEY ARE PURSUING A CRIMINAL....THAT IS NOT THE POINT....AND I THINK WE CAN ALL AGREE THAT IF AN OFFICER HAS TO SHOOT A DOG TO PROTECT HIS LIFE OR THE LIFE OF SOMEONE ELSE...IT WOULD BE SAD BUT UNDERSTANDABLE......13 TIMES....THAT'S THE WRONG DOING HERE! IT WAS BRUTAL, UNCECESSARY, AND CRUEL.

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38topocohontas(3 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

First off if you are going to comment READ the article correctly. The boy didn't live there. I am sorry i have different breeds of dogs in my home. A shep/mix and he weights about 100lbs year old big puppy who whould be more inclined to lick you to death then to hurt someone. 13 times is OVER KILL and charges should be pressed and also for the damage to the home,. The police did not know the peoples PAST records before entering the house so SORRY don't use that as an excuse.

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39animallover(86 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

Another screw up by the YPD. 13 times!! My god where do we live!!

Im sorry for your loss of your beautiful puppy.

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40henryviii1509(274 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

I need to weigh in

For some reason I cannot envision this dog standing still while being shot at 12 or 13 times. The police are trained to shoot humans not dogs which have entirely different postures.

With that said, I think this officer could have stopped firing after 4 or 5 shots and continued on after this kid. The dog may have lived and the perps caught in a reasonably quick period.

Also, most people are not as acquainted with the Akita breed as they are with say a German Shepard, which have similar features that may have been used to make a split second judgement.

I feel bad for the dog, I have killed a few in my time and it is never easy.

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41Stan(9923 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

Can gunfire be bad? Naw! IT'S ALL GOOD! Every night it radiates from one end of town to the other. THE CULTURE LIVES ON!

CAMERA-ACTION-TAKE ONE!
http://www.vertigomagazine.co.uk/arti...

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42aeparish(669 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

Poor dog. :(

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43gmann415(268 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

okay now this is funny, curtis moses says he doesnt know the punk who ran thru his house. that is so funny. i guess thats the new thing to do today. drive around shoot up houses and then run form police pull into a driveway of a house that doesnt belong to you and then run thru it like its your own. well i got this one for you punks, you come running thru my house you would only wish the cops got to you first because i,ll do more than just fire 13 shots into you. i believe these punks did know eachother and i believe the punk who ran into the house knew the dog. cuz i know i have a dog and he stands his ground to people he dont know. so for this punk not to be bit, well theres something not being said by eather the shooter or mr.moses

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44gmann415(268 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

poor dog yes, but dumb criminal thug a$$ gangbanging drug dealers. this punk is denying even knowing the kid. if that was the case why didnt he defend his home like most people would when someone comes bursting thru their door..these gun toting thugs think they are so tuff with a gun in their hands, then maby they should be caught and sent in to fight this war we are in and then the,ll see what real gun fights are like.

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45ads(109 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

A life is a life human or canine. 13 shots into anyone is excessive. I think the public would have understood the excessive shooting of the punk, but instead the office took it out on a puppy. My 115 lab and 85 pound mix would have done the same if someone ran into my home un-announced. I commend the officers for the job they do, no I would not want it in a million years but there are some on the force with little man sydrome and way too much testosterone. Let's face it they don't have a great track record!

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46scrooge(563 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

The police officer did absolutly nothing wrong - except for mayeb wishing he had better aim. You morons saying he shouldn't have shot, or should have done something different are just that.... MORONS!!! I know this is way beyond your narrow minded comprehension, but TRY to imagine the officers point of view:
1. Pursuing a suspect who was SHOOTING
2. Suspect runs into a home and into the basement
3. Officer sees a dog coming at him forcibly
4. Officer has seconds to determine if the dog is coming to hump his leg or tear it off.

can you people seriously tell me you would have done anything different? Not if you're truthful!

Kudos to the officers! You people really need to get a life! Not all people are as narrowminded as you are.

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47Novo_Dia(2 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

I've been raising Akitas for 16 years and yes, with the wrong kind of owner who does not train, socialize their dog and leaves them tied up, etc they can made to be aggressive but that is true of any breed. I find it EXTREMELY hard to believe that a 7 month old female Akita puppy would greet anyone with aggression. I believe this officer if LYING. I believe he saw a dog and shot w/o even giving it a chance. Now I understand they face bad situations like this everyday and just don't have time to wait and see if they are in danger but there is ABSOLUTELY NO EXCUSE for shooting this puppy 13 times, NONE what so ever. This officer is sick and needs to be fired or on leave for awhile IMO. Akitas are the most wonderful dogs when raised properly, most breeds are and this is so sad. Since I know how endearing this breed is I know exactly how hurt this family is, it's devastating to one. So sad. :(

And on another issue, what kind of breeder lets a puppy go at only 5 weeks old? They should never be taken away from their littermates and Mother before 8 wks of age. They learn so much from interacting with their littermates and Mother.
If this family gets another Akita puppy, I hope they do their research and find a responsible breeder who cares more about getting rid of the pups fast to make a buck.

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48got2laugh2keepfrmcrying(3 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

I have to laugh at some of the stupidity that comes from the residents of this area. Meanwhile this couple should sue. Despite their criminal history the officer used excessive force that if left on check next time it could be a human being. This isn't about the office not being able to do their job. Remember to the couple who lost their family pet, Martin L King, Jr., had a criminal record, Malcom X had a criminal record, before he became a political and civil activist. Do the right thing for other citizens. To the police officers, you can not be right all the time and your actions must be accounted for.

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49Morbidcherub(30 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

SHould he have shot at a dog coming at him? Maybe. SHould he have shot 13 times? Absolutely not. One or two would have been enough to stop a dog that size. If he truly felt threatened, thats all he needed to do. Sounds to me like a big fat lie out of yet another moronic cop in Youngstown.

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50metz87(884 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

dogs don't bite people just ebcause they feel like it. the ony reason they do is they feel threatened or their owner tells them to.

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51lcoff(1 comment)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

I seriously doubt that a 7 month old female puppy was being "aggressive". I firmly believe that in the heat of the chase, being on edge, and being "programmed" to the dangers of "specific breeds" that the police officer saw a dog coming towards him and just shot it....worse, massacred that puppy.

It makes me sad to think that if burglars were to break into my house and police were to follow, that my extremely friendly male akita would probably be shot to death because he would exhuberantly meet them thinking someone had come to see him.

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52cozmo(32 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

As A dog lover I feel absolutely terrible for DIVA. As far as the teenage thugs/punks goes...they are a product of their parents. Thats what happens when people in society refuse to take responsibility for being a mother and father in raising their children with love and respect. The police officer was probably scared to death...given "thugs" are known to raise pit bull like dogs to kill.

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53FifthAve(169 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

1. you people kill me.
chastise the officer for shooting a dog.
say nothing for the juveniles driving around the souith side shotting.......what a bunch of morons.
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2....... I think this officer could have stopped firing after 4 or 5 shots and continued on after this kid. The dog may have lived and the perps caught in a reasonably quick period
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Writer 1, perhaps you ought to look at this more closely before calling us morons. You are naive if you believe this news story. You believe the kids were shooting, right? Well, then why weren't the police shooting at the kids to stop them from hurting an innocent victim? If a cop sees a shooter, he will take out the shooter because that's "protecting the community." The officers claim they chased after them and then ran on foot after them? This is a typical cat and mouse game played by the police and juvies. What the cops didn't count on was the presence of a dog! A 40 pound puppy. Adrenalin is pumping and fingers get itchy. Plain and simple!
To cover and justify, the cops claimed the kids were shooting. That's my take on this report.

Writer 2: Your point is a good one. Why didn't the cops move on a pursue the kids after the dog was put down? There lack of pursuit indicates that all is NOT what it appears to be. Apprehending snipers is a top priority. The dog is just a casualty. The only reason they wouldn't continue the chase is that the kids were not really shooting as they drove down the streets of the southside. What other explanation can you give for them dumping the pursuit?

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54bridge3318(2 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

“The dog was coming after the officer and he was in fear for his life and the lives of the other officers,” typical and so much used EXCUSE for killing a innocent in this case animal. a puppy. yes akitas can be very dangerous. Shoot first and ask Questions later.. A dead Dog tells no "Tales" but Cops have enough to cover the Earth. Not withou their supporters Judges, Lawyers etc. Until it's in their homes-- then it's a different story. I'm sick of dirty cops and worse seedy places ie FLORIDA that make cops commit these atrocities for money. Seen it first hand- and 2 counts of canine murder. They should be accountable- how 'bout "Reckless discharge of a deadly weapon"Double penalty for being a cop trained to be better with our dollars footing the bill. Get the ASPCA involved--- and NO NOT all Animals are Innocent, if the owners trained them that way. They're loyal but to the wrong side; or as we have read here today, are they?

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55metz87(884 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

They are innocnet if people trian them theat way the animal had no say in it,they aren't like people in that they know right from wrong.

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56Novo_Dia(2 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

I don't think people are arguing that the police officer had no right to shoot the dog. These officers often go into dangerous situations especially in Youngstown and they often are greeted by vicious dogs trained to attack and sadly those officers lives are in danger and they just don't have the time to stand around and wait to see if the dog will attack them or not so Yes, I can understand the shooting like I said before, just not 13 times, that is without a doubt going way too far and this officer needs to be disciplined in someway IMO.

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57TBS888(1 comment)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

Please just put yourself in the officers shoes. If they are doing a driveby down there and are firing their weapons its obviously a serious situation. If I followed a thug into a house and saw an Akita I would have done the same thing. Akitas by their nature are guard dogs yes they can be kind animals but you cant wait to figure that out.

As for him shooting 13 times the handguns carried by police officers are weak in comparison to other guns. The motive of a police officer is to simply subdue the suspect. A dog is much more thick skinned and hardy than a human I dont care if it was 40 pounds or not. I'm sure this officer used just as much force as was required to stop the dog's progress and the 13th shot simply proves that he is kind enough to put it out of its misery rather than watching it die.

Sadly some dogs are treated badly and in a neighborhood like that I promise you there are more vicious dogs than kind ones.

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58TheCritic(23 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

To: TBS888
You said, "If they are doing a driveby down there and are firing their weapons its obviously a serious situation."

So I assume that "if" the kids were not really shooting as the cops claimed, but they were just driving around when the cops started to follow them, then you would condemn the police.

You wrote:
"The motive of a police officer is to simply subdue the suspect. A dog is much more thick skinned and hardy than a human I dont care if it was 40 pounds or not. I'm sure this officer used just as much force as was required to stop the dog's progress and the 13th shot simply proves that he is kind enough to put it out of its misery rather than watching it die."

This is top spin! Are you kidding? That they shot 13 times is not proof of compassion but proof that they are terrible shots!!!!!

What is your source on the thickness of the skin of a dog compared to people?

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59yix2k(20 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

Thank you, FifthAve, for being a voice of reason.
The fact of the matter is, as FifthAve pointed out, police officers are first and foremost, supposed to neutralize any threat to innocent bystanders. Stopping to shoot someone's dog at point blank range several times, and ending that with a bullet in its skull, could easily be indicative of emotional distress - not the levelheaded behavior of someone who should have a gun.
Fine - the officer had to protect himself. Now. Read the article carefully. It says nothing about the dog advancing on the officer. It says aggressive behavior. For all we know, that means the dog looked at the officer the wrong way. What the article does say is that the officer shot the dog in the head from mere inches away.
One had to move in on the other in order for that to happen. If it was the dog, going to attack the officer, that's one thing. But if it was the officer? He's a total sicko.
So who was it?

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60simplesimon(7 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

use some discretion ypd

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61blkpride(186 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

NOT A PUPPY!!!

Temperament: The Akita is highly intelligent, fearless, and spontaneous. They thrive on human companionship. They are extremely loyal to their family and those they know, but are wary and aloof of strangers. They are exceedingly protective of their family, their territory, and of their food. They are particularly aggressive toward other dogs and pets. They will get along with older, very well behaved children within their family unit, but will not tolerate children they don't know. They make excellent guard dogs, although they are not excessive barkers. They do not do well if left alone for extended periods of time. For this reason, they are not well suited for a two career family. They require an inordinate amount of attention. Akitas are not recommended for the novice dog owner, or owners who are placid and submissive.

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62blkpride(186 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

Akitas are quite gentle and tolerant by nature, but they ARE very protective of their home and pack (you, the family!) If they feel that the home or their pack is being threatened, they can become aggressive. A responsible Akita owner must be aware of this at all times.

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63blkpride(186 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

NOT 40 LBS EITHER!!!

Akitas were developed to hunt other animals. Most Akitas will not tolerate another dog of the same sex, and some won't tolerate the opposite sex either. Most Akitas have strong instincts to chase and seize cats and other fleeing creatures, including deer and livestock. If anything goes wrong in the breeding, socializing, training, handling, or management of this breed, it is capable of seriously injuring or killing other animals.

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64blkpride(186 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

Akitas may be targeted for "banning" in certain areas. Homeowners' insurance policies may be refused or revoked if you are discovered to own an Akita. Your friends and neighbors may be uncomfortable around this breed. In this day and age, the legal liabilities of owning any breed that looks intimidating and has a history as a guard dog and big game hunter should be seriously considered. People are quicker to sue if such a dog does anything even remotely questionable.

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65blkpride(186 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

Other breeds were also responsible for homicides, but to a much lesser extent. A 1997 study of dog bite fatalities in the years 1979 through 1996 revealed that the following breeds had killed one or more persons: pit bulls, Rottweilers, German shepherds, huskies, Alaskan malamutes, Doberman pinschers, chows, Great Danes, St. Bernards and Akitas. (Dog Bite Related Fatalities," Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, May 30, 1997, Vol. 46, No. 21, pp. 463 et. seq.) Since 1975, fatal attacks have been attributed to dogs from at least 30 breeds.

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66Laurieljc(63 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

The police were chasing people who were shooting guns in the neighborhood. I am sure that when that basement door was opened and that dog came running out of the basement, the officers didn't have time to ascertain what the dogs intentions were. You are chasing a person who you believe has a gun and all of a sudden a dog starts to charge you. It is aggressive and it comes after you, what are you going to do? Let's get real here! Someone said that the city should be sued?! For the police doing their job? The police officers where doing their job and the dog was doing it's job, so maybe who the thug who caused the whole incident should be the one who is sued!

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67Eric(196 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

I understand what you are saying Laurieljc, but 13 times? Now the kitchen floor and walls have holes in them. I'm not saying that the city should suffer punitive damages, but they should certainly repair the damage due to the officer's excessiveness.

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68blkpride(186 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

Eric, how about making the kids that were shooting up the southside fix the damage!!!!!!!!

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69blkpride(186 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

Eric, have you ever shot something? A living creature does not alqays die with one bullet. You watch too much TV and Movies. Get a life and do some research.

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70morphinekissesx(2 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

I think this is ridiculous. No, that is just complete and utter effing bs! The officer shot this poor little puppy 13 times because the puppy came at him and he felt threatened? ...Wow. I feel terrible for the owners and I also think the officer who shot and killed Diva should be fired and thrown in jail. Why? Because that was CLEARLY Animal Abuse! Also, if he couldn't tell an actual aggressive dog from a harmless dog, he shouldn't be allowed to have a gun because I refuse to believe that a 7 month old puppy came towards the officers in an aggressive manner. I know Akita dogs are very protective of their owners and their property but it's just a little puppy! I also refuse to believe the fact that after the officer fired the first shot at the puppy, the puppy kept coming towards the officers in an aggressive manner. If it was a full grown dog, then yeah, I would probably believe it but not a little puppy. I'm sorry but I find this really ridiculous.

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71DontVote4Jay(5 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

animal abuse? get a life-it wasnt a little puppy coming after the officer and he had every right to defend himself and the other officers

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72Eric(196 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

blkpride, I take great offense at you telling me I watch too many movies and to get a life. I would hope we can have a civilized exchange of thoughts without resorting to such immature comments.

To respond to what you said, yes, I know sometimes it takes more than one shot to kill a living creature. I do hunt on a semi-regular basis. I also am not disputing the fact that the officer may have had legitimately thought his life was in danger from the dog. However, I question the 13 shots. I know from hunting, I have NEVER had to shoot something 13 times to kill it. In fact, generally one well-placed shot will severely maim the animal. My understanding of the events is the officer's goal shouldn't have been to kill the animal. His goal was to incapacitate the animal sufficiently so that he could continue to pursue the suspect. Then, if killing the animal for humanitarian reasons was necessary, it could have been shot in another area, without shooting up the guy's kitchen.

And come on, making the kids fix the damage is ridiculous. I really want some thugs fixing my kitchen! Regardless of what other postings have said, the homeowner wasn't involved in this altercation. We rely on our officers to act rationally and make good decisions, and what troubles me is I just don't see that that was the case here. I feel that if nothing else, the PD should be responsible for repairing some of the damage that was caused by the excessive shots.

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73TheCritic(23 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

Where are the guns that the kids allegedly used to fire randomly? Why weren't gun charges filed agains the one young man they apprehended? He was charged with obstruction of justice?????? Why not charge him with firing a weapon? I will tell you why! The kids weren't firing. This police story just doesn't add up.

As for the clean-up. The city better roll up their sleeves and empty their pockets because this family has grounds for suing!!!!!!

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74Sithlord(1 comment)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

pathetic display by everyone. The cops,the house owner,the dog owner. It shows me one thing,Id never want to live in the Yo. if it takes 13 shots to kill something or someone, the police need to spend a little more time on the firing range. one dose of pepper spray would have sent that puppy running away. you can get dog pepper spray online for 13.35$ . Put it in the budget . and one last note, was the guy really that dangerous and wanted that it was necessary to enter the home and kill a dog to get him? drugs charges? seriously? pathetic.

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75courtahhbella(1 comment)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

Obviously, most of you people don't read through the article before running your mouths. For those of you who keep saying the couple's son (or the lady's son) was the person that ran into the house, therefore the police had a right to shoot the dog because their son was running ramped and shooting up people's houses are completely ignorant. Their son was not the suspect that ran into the house. The suspect might have been an acquaintance, but it was not their son. Now I know that when a police officer sees a suspect run into a residence they are allowed to go after them, but where does it say they are allowed to shoot a 7 month old puppy in the process? Let alone 13 times! When I go to shooting ranges and shoot at WOODEN boards, it blows them to pieces. I can only imagine what it would do to flesh and bone. I can see that the police officers might have felt threatened, but come on. A 42lb fluff ball? The dog was just walking up the stairs. Even if it snarled or growled, they reacted prematurely. Also, if the puppy was oh so aggressive, why didn't it already attack the intruder that ran down into the basement? Regardless, one shot would have sufficed. I have a 2 and a half pound minpin who is also 6 months old. If someone came into my house, no matter her size, she would bark and snap. Would the Youngstown Police Department empty a clip into her too? I don't feel safe letting my dogs outside anymore. This is horrible. The YPD should apologize and the family should seek legal actions.

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76boricuamom1959(1 comment)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

You see the problem in Youngstown is that they don't care about the animals in this City. That is why cops go around shooting beloved pets while invading private homes. Nothing will ever be done about it. Regardless the police officer's reasoning for shooting the dog, 13 times is a bit excessive. Like the hunters who have commented, if you shot a deer 13 times what a waste of meat! This officer needs help! And please people, stop the blame game on the teens parents,after a certain age there is accountability on choices you make in life regardless on how or who you are raised by. As for these teenagers, Youngstown needs to invest in our communities and create fun programs and places so that the teens in our town have something to do and stay out of trouble! Even if it means paying them. Don't get me wrong I love Youngstown, but I'm tired of the politics and you people from Boardman looking down on us. You never hear of all the drug trafficking in your neighborhoods and schools in The Vindicator!

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77Morbidcherub(30 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

There are just too many holes in the story provided by the YPD. They have made themselves easy targets for criticism by not revealing the facts - the 'facts' they provided do not add up at all and are likely fabricated stories to cover their a$$es. I stand by my opinion that while the cop may have needed to use some force on the dog, shooting 13 times is clearly excessive and he is either a lousy shot, he is a typical cop with a napoleon complex and an attitude, or a combination of the 2. The family involved isnt innocent either, but they didnt deserve to watch their dog get blown to bits in front of them by a half wit wearing a badge.

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78Eric(196 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

Good point Morbidcherub. And if he is that bad of a shot, he needs to go back to paintball.

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79mahoningvalley12(36 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

although I do feel bad for this dog....it is just a dog...you can't play "what if" situations because it can be reversed..."what if" the police got to this criminal before he went into the house and no dog got shot?
personally I rest easy at night knowing the cops of youngstown are willing to do whatever it may take to apprehend someone who is a danger....maybe thats just me.
there is no doubt in my mind this kid knew the owner of the house and there should be some kind of investigation into that.

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80Bella75(1 comment)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

Seriously? I am a huge animal lover. I have a Rott that is a huge baby but appears aggressive and I live not far from the incident. If this happened to me I would be highly upset. However, I do believe that in this case I would've done the same thing if I were the officer. Maybe not 13 times, but some people have a fear of dogs. Possibly due to a history of getting bit. Youngstown is full of aggressive dogs and you never really know what may be in front of you. The case at hand is there is a criminal on the run. If that kid got away did anyone ever think.....he could have been out the next day with his little gang shooting at your kid or your dog. I commend the officer in the first place for even working in one of the top "Murder Capital Cities." Everyone wants to judge him because he shot a dog but has anyone thanked him for trying to protect us? I know I wouldn't want to have his job in this town.

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81Kcherie(3 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

Okay enough is enough!!! I am a 25 year old female who was raised in an all white neighborhood with little crime at all....ALL of you people who keep making comments about thugs and what his son was doing that day MAKE ME SICK!!!!!!!!! Are you honestly implying that because his son committed a crime the man is not only at fault for that, but his dog deserves to die too!?!?!?!?! Some of you probably live in suburbia and are totally unaware of what your children are doing while you're not around, so should the cops come to your house and kill your animals!!! That is a totally disgusting outlook on this situation!!!!!!!!
To the man whose dog was VICIOUSLY(since they want to use that word, I'll use it correctly) MURDERED I am terriblt sorry for your loss. If I were you I would definately sue for pain and suffering, not to mention for all the children that witnessed that!!
One last note: Since there were children there, how do you think they will view police officers as adults? Will they respect them? Considering the very people (cops) who are taught to us to serve and protect shot a helpless animal 13 times, I pretty sure they won't GREAT JOB OFFICER!!!!
If there was a man standing there with a gun held to the officer, the cop wouldn't have shot him at all it wouldv'e been a stand-off..if there was a man standing there with no weapon, he would've been arrested, no shots...if a man were standing there and fired a shot at the cop, there STILL WOULDN"T have beeen 13 shots fired!!!!!!!!!
How Ironic!!

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82JD010101(137 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

That officer is lucky Mamula wasnt his boss. He would have wanted the Chief of police to write him up. That officer should have used his night stick dog gon it!

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83Ciara2223(16 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

I hope they sue the city for the dammage to his house and the death of the family puppy that didn't need to die.

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