Man helps police capture
Police then killed the man's dog and cuffed him.
Originally published here
"A dog's violent death"
by STEPHEN RILEY
Oregon Register-Guard, August 6, 2001
On the afternoon of July 21, as I was washing my truck, my life was changed forever by Springfield police. It all began after I had subdued an armed man who had robbed a tavern on Main Street and had run into my back yard. I'd pulled my weapon on the guy, ordered him to drop his gun, which he did, and then grabbed him after he had tried to break free and run. A neighbor and a couple of people who had been chasing the suspect came to my aid. I holstered my weapon and covered it with my shirt.
When the first police officer arrived, I saw my dog, Zeke, walking toward him. The officer immediately took an offensive tactical shooting stance and fired two quick shots. The second shot hit Zeke squarely. I yelled at the officer, who immediately pulled his weapon on me. I put my hands out so he could see I was not armed. He was very agitated and bounced the laser on his weapon all over my chest. He ordered me to hit the ground face-down, which I did. I was in mortal fear. Someone handcuffed me and took my weapon from its holster. My neighbor and I yelled that I lived here and that I had just captured the bad guy. I yelled for my dog to be taken to the vet. I saw my beloved and loyal friend Zeke pump the last of his blood from his exploded heart onto the gravel of my driveway. He was dead!
By now it was pretty clear to the police that I lived in the house and that I had just done their job for them. But they wouldn't remove the handcuffs until I led them to the suspect's gun. One officer said that I was going to jail. My reply: "Let's go." After 15 or 20 minutes in the back of a patrol car, an officer removed the cuffs and I led him to the gun. Lots of time, paperwork, measurements and detectives followed.
As I write, I am still in shock over Zeke's violent death. This police-military action was totally inappropriate for the situation. It devastates a family through the loss of a devoted member. But it's just a dog - or a child, a wife, a husband or a friend.
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