Saturday, January 25, 2003

Florida: Boynton Officers Shoot Dead 2 Pit Bulls

FLORIDA -- Two dogs that allegedly charged at four police officers in separate incidents within 24 hours were shot and killed, officials said Friday.

The officers' supervisors will do a routine inquiry into the shootings, police said. But officials said the shootings appear to be justified and it is likely no action will be taken.

The first shooting occurred around 7:30 p.m. Thursday when Officer John Bonfair went to a call where two pit bulls were attacking a puppy in the 300 block of Northeast 23rd Avenue, police said.

The owner of the puppy told police that as he tried to pull the dogs off his pet, the big dogs turned on him.

The officers began searching for the dogs when they received another call that two pit bulls were attacking another dog nearby.

When they arrived, Bonfair said he saw the dogs mauling a small chow mix. The largest canine turned and approached Bonfair, who fired four shots, killing the dog, police said.

The other pit bull turned and ran. But police followed it and found it hiding in a pen behind a home in the 300 block of Northeast 23rd Avenue.

Animal control officers said they thought the dog was too scared to leave for the night and therefore did not take it. An investigator was expected to be at the home Friday morning.

The second shooting occurred shortly after 8:20 a.m. Friday when officers went to check on a 911 call at an apartment in the 800 block of Boynton Beach Boulevard.

When the officers entered the house after there was no answer, a large dog rushed past one officer and charged at Officer Astrel Labbe, police said.

Labbe, a rookie who is scheduled to be released on his own from training on Monday, shot the dog three times, police said.

(Sun Sentinel - January 25, 2003)