Press Release: April 2, 2011 Incident Involving Berkeley Police Department and Pit Bull

From David A. Frankel [Berkeley Police Department spokesperson]
Sunday April 03, 2011 - 05:19:00 PM

On Saturday, April 2, 2011 at approximately 3:30 p.m. the City of Berkeley Police Department (BPD) got a call from a resident in the 3200 block of Shattuck Avenue who reported that a man was firing a handgun in the rear yard of a nearby residence. BPD Officers responded immediately and met with the witness/caller who pointed out the home to the officers. Officers contacted the occupants who complied with officers’ orders to exit the home. During the process, a Pit-bull dog came out of the residence and refused to comply with the verbal commands issued by one of the occupants. The dog then growled and lunged at one of the officers causing that officer to fear for his safety. This officer fired one round from his pistol at the dog and it died instantly. 

During the ongoing investigation, the resident admitted to participating in target practice with a pellet gun in his rear yard, a violation of the Berkeley Municipal Code. Inside the home, officers located a pellet gun that resembled a semi-automatic handgun. The gun investigation has been concluded and the case will be forwarded to the District Attorney’s office. 

All Use of Force incidents are thoroughly reviewed by BPD. No officer wants to be put in the position of using force, particularly deadly force, on animals or individuals, but sometimes must do so to protect him/herself, the safety of others and community safety.