By Will E Sanders
PIQUA – A police lieutenant acted appropriately in fatally shooting a dog that was responding to a domestic dispute over the weekend, a police investigation has found.
Police were dispatched to the area of 1023 Jill Court at 1:15 a.m. Sunday on the report of a possible domestic violence situation involving a man, believed to be the dog’s owner, striking a female, police reports state.
During that investigation, officers made contact with Joseph D. Weigel, 26, who lived at the address with the dog, which was chained up at the time, barking at the officer, said Piqua Police Chief Bruce Jamison.
While speaking with Weigel, police said he wanted to let the dog, described as a pit bull, off the chain, but the officer encouraged him not to, Jamison said.
“The owner still decided to let (the dog) off the chain and (Weigel) was holding him, but losing control of the dog,” Jamison said. “The dog was trying to move forward toward the officer and broke free. Within seconds (the dog) was lunging at the officer. The officer drew his weapon at that time and shot the dog. It died very quickly.”
The officer fired one shot, Jamison said.
Weigel said he feels the police department is “degrading my dog” and the dog’s demeanor by saying “he was aggressive.”
He said he was shocked when the shooting took place.
“I was five feet away when he shot my dog, begging him to stop and put his gun away,” Weigel said.
But Jamison said police Lt. Jason Preston, who shot the dog, was compliant with departmental policies for using lethal force.
“When we are going into a situation with a dangerous dog or a vicious dog present, we think of ways we are going to approach the situation to avoid the possibility of having to shoot the dog, but in this case it wasn’t a dangerous situation until the owner made the decision to remove the dog from the chain,” Jamison said.
During additional investigation, a female that resides with Weigel denied that Weigel struck her, but a resident who lives in the 1000 block of Jill Court told officers that a man matching Weigel’s description struck the female, which was when the police were initially called.
“That dog was in an emotionally charged atmosphere even before we arrived,” Jamison concluded.
The case is now closed, Jamison added.
Will E Sanders may be reached at 773-2721 or on Twitter @TheDailyCall.