MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A foot chase through a north Minneapolis neighborhood Friday ended with a teenager in handcuffs. But it also had sad consequences for neighbors caught in the middle.
An officer shot and killed a dog that had nothing to do with the kid being chased.
But that kid’s actions played a big part.
He crashed a car Friday evening near 39th Avenue and Alrich Avenue North, and then ran from police.
Paul Trott and Josh Lyczkowski were in their home nearby, unaware of the chase. But at some point, the young suspect apparently forced open their backyard gate, shattering the lock.
When Trott let their two Italian Mastiffs outside, the dogs spotted the open gate before he did, running into the alley where the search was still underway.
“And I’m yelling for Tito and Vita, calling their names,” Trott said. “Josh immediately heads out the door and he’s doing the same thing, calling for them.”
“And I hear, ‘No! Don’t! Stop!’ very quickly,” Lyczkowski said. “And then I hear a bang. And I knew something happened.”
An officer had shot and killed their dog, Tito.
“I mean, it was pretty shocking to see your dog lying there,” Trott said.
They said the officer told them he would’ve done it again, given the same circumstances.
“It’s a ‘shoot first, think later’ when it comes to domestic animals,” Trott said.
“And I get it, they have a job to protect and serve,” Lynczkowski said. “And they’re in high stress situations.”
They both think it should’ve been apparent, though, that their dog was harmless.
“Tito was a large dog, I mean he was quite large, but he certainly wasn’t aggressive in any way,” Trott said.
Before leaving the scene, the officers brought the suspect by, to apologize.
“I also wanted to say something to him,” Lyczkowski said. “And that was, that you know, the choices you make affect those around you.”
In a statement, Minneapolis Police said:
“Police officers are placed into situations where, at times, they must make immediate decisions based on only the facts that are present at that moment. The officers are mandated to make the decisions to preserve their own safety as well as the safety of others. The decision to shoot, or harm, an animal is not made lightly, but at times must be made immediately. Officers have no way of knowing the history of the animal, or what the animal may do. Every threat must be taken seriously. These are very sad and unfortunate incidents and ones that no one wants to occur.”