Friday, April 21, 2017

Colorado: Pueblo officer grazed by bullet fired by another who was being attacked by pit bull

COLORAD -- A Pueblo police officer who fired at a dog he believed was attacking him accidentally grazed a rookie who was among officers responding to a call from the pit bull’s owners, according to a police report.

The incident began early April 14 when Leslie Hanson, 39, owner of the 2-year-old dog named Crios and her boyfriend heard a noise at the rear of their home. They thought someone was trying to break in.

Her boyfriend walked out of the home. Hanson grabbed her gun, followed him outside, called 911, and reported an attempted break-in, she said Thursday.

They saw her neighbor’s son, who had fallen onto a trash can before a gate fell on top of him. He “was high on something,” Hanson said, and she put the gun away as he flailed around.

She then told the 911 operator she was going to put the phone down and help her boyfriend with the neighbor, identified as David Martinez, 32, in the police report. Martinez was incoherent and appeared to be trying to “get at his mother,” who had come out of her house with her husband.

Officer Seth Jensen, who wrote the report, and another officer, got him under control and were taking him to a patrol car, when two other officers, identified as Officer Diaz and Recruit Officer Steffani, arrived.

As Diaz and Steffani arrived, the report said, a large, gray pit bull “ran out of the residence. … As the dog exited the house, it began growling aggressively and then attempted to attack Officer Diaz.”

Hanson said the dog had "somehow" gotten through a dog gate and "somehow" through a door into her yard on Cypress Street but she insists it was walking, "looking for her" and claims it was "not acting aggressively".

According to the report, Diaz backpedaled, drew his pistol, and fired seven rounds at the dog.

The dog collapsed in front of a nearby home. Jensen noticed that Steffani was limping and asked if he had been shot. Steffani answered that he might have been grazed by a bullet. He was taken to a hospital and treated for a slight burn mark, the report said.


Hanson said she has post-traumatic-stress disorder and that Crios was a service dog.

“He was not running; he was walking. I didn’t hear him growl or bark. I’m not saying that he didn’t. I’m not saying that I don’t agree that dogs are sometimes aggressive. The officer could have used pepper spray, Tazed him, shot him once. It would have been OK.”

But firing seven shots at the dog, was “not OK.”

A veterinarian later euthanized Crios.

Police called the incident unfortunate in a statement posted on the department’s Facebook page. “The Pueblo Police Department recognizes the incident as unfortunate but realizes the officer exercised the best option available to him at the time, as the incident happened within seconds.”


Leslie Hanson‎ posted on Facebook to Pueblo Police Department
April 19 at 10:25am ·
I would like the video cam from 2 officers and 2 sgts. I wont let this go my dog didnt Have to die. Crios loved kids on my block he played with kids everyday. People who now me now my dogs are my kids. I will go without to give them every thing. I was threatened 3 times with arrest. The whole situation is wrong. If your dept would have treated us bettter I wouldn't be doing this. Anyone who has watched there loved ones get shot infront of them knows. The pain I feel. Now i am having flashbacks. It was not enough to find my cousin murdered in my home in 1998 now im in this situation again.

Olivia Lucero with Leslie Hanson.
April 15 at 2:59pm ·
R.i.P. Crios who was brutally murdered by a Pueblo Police Officer, Diaz. Crios is the pup of my neighbors across the street on the 1400 block of Cypress, Friday morning at around 4:30-5:30am one of the neighborhood "heads" was lurking in Crios owners backyard. The male Eric came out and apprehended the lurker, his wife followed to help while calling 911 for help. Crios followed obviously because this was his home and family, he was trying to protect his home. When the officer arrived he was terrified by Crios who ran towards him, the owner grabbed him immediately but Officer Diaz didn't hesitate to draw his gun shooting Crios 7 times. That's fucken ridiculous 7 times?! I understand being scared, but the Officer could've shot a warning shot in the air. Crios would've stopped. If shooting him was an option he could've shot him in the leg once, but 7 times?! The Pueblo Police need better training on defense in regards to gun safety. Too many are trigger happy and there's too many people who support the issues with the excuse that there's not enough Officer's. The Officer's fear for thier lives. Well what about us? We are afraid too!! I fear for my children who are now young adults, I fear they're going to be profiled because of thier race. I fear my son may not come home because some self-righteous Officer will shoot him. Now I have to fear letting my German Shepherd out to pee or to protect my yard because he might get shot by some "scared" Officer? This is bullshit!! The gunshots woke me and my husband up and the first thing I told him was go check on the boys! I immediately called dispatch, while I was on the line I heard the Officer say "at this time no shots fired" I told her how is he going to lie like that? There's a woman crying and screaming for help please get her help!. The fact he radio'd that in says a lot about the lies they cover up. R.i.p Crios you will be missed pup 😢😔🐕

Leslie Hanson Thank you
Like · 2 · April 15 at 3:36pm

(The Denver Post - April 20, 2017)