Free Republic
Browse · Search
General/Chat
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Trial To Begin Monday In Lawsuit Over Dog Fatally Shot By Hartford Police
The Hartford Courant ^ | May 17, 2012 | Christine Dempsey

Posted on 05/28/2012 5:25:10 PM PDT by Altariel

HARTFORD — —

Two city police officers are being sued on a claim that they shot a family dog in front of its 12-year-old owner after entering the backyard of her Enfield Street residence without a warrant.

Police claimed that a snarling St. Bernard charged at them when they went into the yard to investigate a report that guns were stashed in a vehicle there.

A jury trial is scheduled to begin Monday before Judge Robert N. Chatigny in U.S. District Court in Hartford.

Glen Harris, who is listed as the minor's guardian, filed the federal lawsuit in 2008 against the city of Hartford and two officers who were at the 2006 shooting scene, Officers John O'Hare and Anthony Pia. Pia is now a detective. Harris' lawyer, Jon L. Schoenhorn, declined to comment, citing the upcoming trial.

Calls to O'Hare, Pia and other police staff were not returned. The lawyer representing the officers, Thomas R. Gerarde, also could not be reached.

According to court documents, the Harris family had two St. Bernards that were "good-tempered and obedient" and "never bit anyone."

The 12-year-old, a girl identified only as "K.H." in court documents, had developed a special relationship with one of the dogs, named Seven.

"She felt she could talk to him and that he would listen, understand, and comfort her in a way that no one else could," a court memorandum states.

On Dec. 20, 2006, according to the memorandum, O'Hare and Pia walked into the Harris' backyard at 297 Enfield St. without a warrant. As they rounded the back corner of the house, they saw a St. Bernard, Seven, begin to move toward them. They turned and ran back the way they came, along the north side of the house, toward the front yard, the document states.

The girl ran around the other side of the house "in an effort to head off Seven's path through the front yard," it states. The girl heard two shots before she got to the front yard.

When she arrived, she saw O'Hare standing over Seven, who had fallen to the ground. The dog was breathing heavily and his tail was wagging weakly, the document states. She screamed, "Don't shoot my dog."

According to the document, "O'Hare looked at K.H., then back to the dog, and shot the dog in the head." The girl ran to the dog, screaming and crying, after which O'Hare told her, "Sorry, miss, but your dog isn't going to make it," it states.

The third bullet caused the dog's death, the memorandum states. The document states that the girl had suicidal thoughts after the shooting and was hospitalized.

The suit accuses the officers of conducting an "illegal search," calling their presence a "warrantless invasion." With the exception of the driveway, the entire property is enclosed by fences or gates, and there were three "Beware of Dog" signs posted on the property, it states.

But according to a nine-page incident report filed by police, O'Hare and Pia had received a tip from a reliable source that two handguns were stashed in an abandoned vehicle in the backyard of 297 Enfield St. They went into the yard about 3:20 p.m., and a large, full-grown St. Bernard "immediately began to bark and snarl," the report states.

Both officers ran toward the front of the house with the dog in pursuit. Pia was able to get to a sidewalk on the other side of a fence, but O'Hare ended up in the front yard "with the dog running directly at him," it states.

O'Hare was unable to elude the dog, the report states, which was "showing its teeth." He pointed his gun at it and yelled for it to get back, but the dog only hesitated momentarily before advancing again, it states.

The dog lunged at O'Hare, who fired three times, hitting it in the head and chest from 3 feet away, the report states.

Pia said the dog was trying to bite O'Hare's legs as he was running.

The report says nothing about a pause between the second and third shots or the girl witnessing the shooting — a point the defendants are expected to contest in court.

The suit claims that O'Hare's actions were "so extreme, callous and outrageous that they fell outside the scope of acceptable police behavior," in violation of the due-process clause of the Constitution.

It also claims that they entered the property illegally and that O'Hare intentionally inflicted emotional distress.

The suit seeks compensatory and punitive damages, as well as legal fees.

A senior assistant corporation counsel for the city, Nathalie Feola-Guerrieri, said, "The city is confident that the officers will be found to have acted justifiably under the circumstances."


TOPICS: Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: assholecops; deadleoswalking; dog; donutwatch; hartford; saintbernard
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-59 next last

1 posted on 05/28/2012 5:25:24 PM PDT by Altariel
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Altariel

Thugs with guns. Just another street gang but one I have to support with my tax dollars. Despicable cretins.


2 posted on 05/28/2012 5:30:22 PM PDT by muir_redwoods (I like Obamacare because Granny signed the will and I need the cash)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: muir_redwoods

The poor girl; I hope her parents will help her during her time of grief.


3 posted on 05/28/2012 5:31:46 PM PDT by Altariel ("Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Altariel

I generally like to give the cops the benefit of doubt, but in this case, they went into a posted fenced area without a warrant. Had they gotten a warrant, and or had the owners put the dogs up, this wouldn’t have happened.


4 posted on 05/28/2012 5:40:57 PM PDT by umgud (No Rats, No Rino's)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: muir_redwoods

It’s only a matter of time before a pet owner, wracked with grief, caps a cop for killing his dog. Then the sparks will fly.


5 posted on 05/28/2012 5:40:57 PM PDT by pingman ("Human history seems logical in afterthought, but a mystery in forethought." (Strauss & Howe))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: umgud

Had they not trespassed, this wouldn’t have happened.


6 posted on 05/28/2012 5:46:40 PM PDT by Altariel ("Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: muir_redwoods

This **** has been going on far too long. There are only two ways it will stop. Juries will start finding for plaintiffs, or people are going to start looking for cops when they aren’t wearing blue.


7 posted on 05/28/2012 5:46:52 PM PDT by Lurker (Violence is rarely the answer. But when it is it is the only answer.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: pingman

When I hear of that happening I’m going to stand up and cheer.


8 posted on 05/28/2012 5:48:34 PM PDT by Lurker (Violence is rarely the answer. But when it is it is the only answer.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Altariel

The pigs will walk, they always do.


9 posted on 05/28/2012 5:49:31 PM PDT by j_tull (Massachusetts once lead the American Revolution. Under Mitt Romney, it lead the demise.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: pingman

I’ll wager there are twenty to thirty times more dogs injured by cops than cops injured by dogs. The response by cops is way out of proportion to the threat.


10 posted on 05/28/2012 5:49:45 PM PDT by muir_redwoods (I like Obamacare because Granny signed the will and I need the cash)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Altariel
On Dec. 20, 2006, according to the memorandum, O'Hare and Pia walked into the Harris' backyard at 297 Enfield St. without a warrant.

How much trouble is it to obtain a search warrant?

11 posted on 05/28/2012 5:51:54 PM PDT by Standing Wolf
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Altariel

Thugs are thugs, badges or not. They need to be put down like the thugs they are. I say shoot the guy just like he shot the dog, and use the “I don’t think he’s going to make it” line before the one into his brain.

People like this are just evil and need to be permanently removed from this earth.


12 posted on 05/28/2012 5:52:15 PM PDT by Secret Agent Man (I can neither confirm or deny that; even if I could, I couldn't - it's classified.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Lurker

I think one of the worst things that comes from this crap is that it erodes peoples trust in all cops. I wish cops themselves would internally take care of these people in their own self-interest, the way they need to be taken care of, but they don’t.


13 posted on 05/28/2012 5:54:40 PM PDT by Secret Agent Man (I can neither confirm or deny that; even if I could, I couldn't - it's classified.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Altariel

“But, yer honor! 12 year old goils always lie. Who is ya gonna believe, us cops or some lying little goil whose vicious dog attacked us? I was us or it, ya honor!”


14 posted on 05/28/2012 5:56:37 PM PDT by yefragetuwrabrumuy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Altariel
maybe they'll lose their Dog Shooter Merit Badge...

15 posted on 05/28/2012 6:01:17 PM PDT by Chode (American Hedonist - *DTOM* -ww- NO Pity for the LAZY)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Altariel
"...guns were stashed in a vehicle there..."

Or not.

16 posted on 05/28/2012 6:03:30 PM PDT by Paladin2
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Altariel
"According to the document, "O'Hare looked at K.H., then back to the dog, and shot the dog in the head.""

What a mensch.

Clearly the dog was still a serious threat.

17 posted on 05/28/2012 6:08:02 PM PDT by Paladin2
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: pingman

http://suite101.com/article/police-officer-killed-george-hitcho-jr-alleged-shooter-a406605


18 posted on 05/28/2012 6:11:13 PM PDT by Paladin2
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: pingman
It’s only a matter of time before a pet owner, wracked with grief, caps a cop for killing his dog. Then the sparks will fly.

I think you're right. If the cop overreacts, as they tend to do, I bet the pet owner beats them in court. Temporary insanity would be the defense, I guess, and with a good lawyer talking to a jury, the party might walk out of the court, a free man or a free woman.

19 posted on 05/28/2012 6:11:29 PM PDT by OldPossum (I)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Altariel

Police reports use language intended to make the citizen look as bad as possible.
I remember my ticket last year for going 34 in a 30 mph zone. The ticket stated that I was “recklessly traveling at a high rate of speed.”
Cops do nothing to prevent crime, absolutely nothing. Their entire purpose is to document a crime after the fact and to collect taxes from the citizenry through speed traps and minor traffic infractions.


20 posted on 05/28/2012 6:15:11 PM PDT by BuffaloJack (End the racist, anti-capitalist Obama War On Freedom.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Altariel
"O'Hare was unable to elude the dog, the report states, which was "showing its teeth." He pointed his gun at it and yelled for it to get back, but the dog only hesitated momentarily before advancing again, it states. "

Cops without milk bones.

21 posted on 05/28/2012 6:15:11 PM PDT by Paladin2
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Paladin2
"yelled for it to get back,"

I'm not familiar with that dog command.

22 posted on 05/28/2012 6:19:45 PM PDT by Paladin2
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: OldPossum
I think you're right. If the cop overreacts, as they tend to do, I bet the pet owner beats them in court.

Nope, the other cops would execute the homeowner.

As for the main story, it shows what a worthless piece of ___ the DA is for not charging the trigger happy Irish with child endangerment and injury to a child.

23 posted on 05/28/2012 6:20:28 PM PDT by PAR35
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: Paladin2
A new coloring book published by the American Veterinary Medical Association teaches children how to behave around dogs.

Time for some more training for cops who wet their pants around friendly dogs, I think.

24 posted on 05/28/2012 6:20:58 PM PDT by mvpel (Michael Pelletier)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: Altariel
O'hare center, on another case. Pussy - afraid of a house pet. I hope Hartford has to pay out a whole lot of big bucks which will go in his file


25 posted on 05/28/2012 6:21:33 PM PDT by expat1000
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Altariel
The poor girl; I hope her parents will help her during her time of grief.

How?

26 posted on 05/28/2012 6:23:14 PM PDT by expat1000
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Altariel

It sounds like she doesn’t have parents that are around. Foster child perhaps?


27 posted on 05/28/2012 6:23:14 PM PDT by Harmless Teddy Bear (Migrating elephant herds react badly to flaming motor homes and dry ice doesn't repel killer bees)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Paladin2

It’s only a matter of time before killing dogs won’t be enough.

People who *enjoy* cruelty to animals often also prey on human victims.


28 posted on 05/28/2012 6:23:33 PM PDT by Altariel ("Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: Altariel
For the sake of a...

...and an ounce of courage.

29 posted on 05/28/2012 6:27:25 PM PDT by kanawa
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: expat1000

Not Hartford.

The cop himself.

“You shot a law-abiding citizen’s dog; we will be sending the family one year of your salary.”

THAT would resonate quickly, and this nonsense would STOP.


30 posted on 05/28/2012 6:41:33 PM PDT by Altariel ("Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: Altariel

That kid will not only suffer grief. She has to deal with the fear and rage of terror. She’s a crime victim. For a lot of people, watching someone murder your dog in cold blood is like witnessing a member of the family being murdered. Poor kid.


31 posted on 05/28/2012 6:44:56 PM PDT by SaraJohnson
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: kanawa

Indeed.

That cop would be toast when pitted against something really dangerous.

Such as, for instance, a bear.

:-)


32 posted on 05/28/2012 6:47:46 PM PDT by Altariel ("Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

To: Altariel

Snarling Saint Bernard¿¿¿¿¿ LOL

What an idiot.

I had two of them things when I was a kid. The scariest two things they do are make piles of do~do large enough to build a castle and slime you with their big slobby tongue and lips.


33 posted on 05/28/2012 6:56:34 PM PDT by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously, you won't live athrough it anyway)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Altariel

They received a tip from an informant¿¿

Since when does that justify Breaking & Entering and Trespassing without a warrant???


34 posted on 05/28/2012 7:04:22 PM PDT by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously, you won't live athrough it anyway)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Altariel

They received a tip from an informant¿¿

Since when does that justify Breaking & Entering and Trespassing without a warrant???


35 posted on 05/28/2012 7:04:51 PM PDT by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously, you won't live athrough it anyway)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Vendome

SBs can also bury you in a pile of sloughed dog hair.


36 posted on 05/28/2012 7:15:43 PM PDT by Paladin2
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

To: Altariel

A tip from an informant so time sensitive that they couldn’t get at warrant ..... right. Two more FEMA camp guardians candidates.


37 posted on 05/28/2012 7:32:10 PM PDT by RetiredTexasVet (There's a pill for just about everything ... except stupid!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Vendome
"Since when does that justify Breaking & Entering and Trespassing without a warrant??? "

Some dogs just need killin'.

38 posted on 05/28/2012 7:44:03 PM PDT by Paladin2
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 34 | View Replies]

To: Paladin2

Dead dogs don’t have vet bills. This was a calculating cop, actually thinking he’d be found in the wrong and have to pay the vet bills himself.

I can’t believe the attorney for the city fought the suit or expects to win when there was no warrant. There are only a few situations when entering a property without a warrant is legal, and they all involve imminent danger or pursuit of a suspect. I don’t think following a tip about stashed weapons would qualify.


39 posted on 05/28/2012 7:46:27 PM PDT by Kellis91789 (The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: AnAmericanMother; Titan Magroyne; Badeye; SandRat; arbooz; potlatch; afraidfortherepublic; ...
WOOOF!

The Doggie Ping list is for FReepers who would like to be notified of threads relating to all things canid. If you would like to join the Doggie Ping Pack (or be unleashed from it), FReemail me.

40 posted on 05/28/2012 7:53:08 PM PDT by Joe 6-pack (Que me amat, amet et canem meum)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Altariel
2006 event (Swift Justice indeed).

"A police report states that the dog, which it describes as "vicious" and "raging," was barking and snarling."

Well then, that settles it.

41 posted on 05/28/2012 8:07:58 PM PDT by Paladin2
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Altariel
"While arguing motions outside the presence of the jury, Gerarde told Judge Robert N. Chatigny that the officers' presence on the property was justified under the law, in part because it was an emergency. Police had received a tip from a gang member that two illegal guns were under the front seat of a Nissan Maxima in the backyard of the house at 297 Enfield St.

But Schoenhorn likened O'Hare's presence on the property, without a warrant, to his having "illegally come into a house."

Closing arguments are scheduled for Friday."

Stay tuned.,.,...

42 posted on 05/28/2012 8:10:19 PM PDT by Paladin2
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Paladin2

Exigent circumstances? I don’t think so.


43 posted on 05/28/2012 8:11:09 PM PDT by Paladin2
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 42 | View Replies]

To: Altariel

99 percent of cops turned into thugs and punks. Went fro’ NYC TP block Islamd this past weekend and saw no less than 6 stops by these creeps on ot busting balls of regular people.


44 posted on 05/28/2012 8:11:39 PM PDT by GlockThe Vote (The Obama Adminstration: 2nd wave of attacks on America after 9/11)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Altariel

99 percent of cops turned into thugs and punks. Went fro’ NYC TP block Islamd this past weekend and saw no less than 6 stops by these creeps on ot busting balls of regular people.


45 posted on 05/28/2012 8:12:23 PM PDT by GlockThe Vote (The Obama Adminstration: 2nd wave of attacks on America after 9/11)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Altariel

Pia is now a detective.””

A promotion.

Cops have become increasingly thuggish. They are taught an elitist philosophy at Police Academies which both places them above the average citizen and also gives them the idea they are military troops.

I hope these bastards are taken care of appropriately by the courts, but since the judges and prosecutors work hand in glove with them, I am not optimistic.


46 posted on 05/28/2012 8:19:35 PM PDT by ZULU (Non Nobis Domine Non Nobis Sed Nomini Tuo Da Gloriam.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Altariel
One of these days a home owner is going to shoot a cop, or cops, that shoot his/her dog(s). If they do I hope they use the "I felt threatened, my life was in danger" BS that cops use when they kill dogs.

Hey, he shot my dog for no reason I thought he was going to kill us all so I took him out. Self defense and justifiable IMO.

It is only a matter of time until some cop runs into the dog/home owner who will take matters into their own hands.

47 posted on 05/28/2012 8:21:09 PM PDT by calex59
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: calex59

Yes, and when it happens that people lose trust in cops, it will be the good guys who get shot. Like Mexico.


48 posted on 05/28/2012 8:27:21 PM PDT by SaraJohnson
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 47 | View Replies]

To: calex59
"It is only a matter of time until some cop runs into the dog/home owner who will take matters into their own hands"

http://suite101.com/article/police-officer-killed-george-hitcho-jr-alleged-shooter-a406605

49 posted on 05/28/2012 8:36:07 PM PDT by Paladin2
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 47 | View Replies]

To: kanawa

Milk Bone can’t help a uniformed thug without a backbone.

How many dog shooters are black? I ask because in many areas of America, blacks seem to have a fear of dogs rather greater than would whites.

Any ideas as to why this anomaly exists?


50 posted on 05/28/2012 8:52:43 PM PDT by GladesGuru (In a society predicated upon freedom, it is necessary to examine principles."...the public interest)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-59 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
General/Chat
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson