ST, PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — St. Paul police say an officer was forced to shoot and kill an elderly man’s dog after it bit four people Sunday.
Police say officers found a frantic scene near the Edgcumbe Recreation Center on Griggs Street at about 4:30 p.m.READ MORE: Xcel Energy Seeks To Hike Electricity Rates By About 20%
A 1-year-old Rottweiler had already attacked four people and could not be contained by the owner or animal control officers.
The dog’s owner expressed his sorrow and remorse Tuesday. Witnesses say the dog, named Gus, jumped the fence of his home and started running down the street towards a park.
His owner says he had taken the dog off his leash in their fenced-in backyard to feed him. Police officers and an animal control crew spent 20 minutes trying to contain Gus. But when he charged at another group of people, an officer shot and killed the dog.
Makin El-Dweek, Gus’ owner, is 82 years old. He says he feels bad about the people who were injured, and he will miss his companion — who just turned 1 this week.
“It hurts me when I remember,” El-Dweek said. “He is a very active dog. We tie him up here, sometimes we keep him inside.”
Police shared photos that show some of the injuries the two men and two women suffered when the dog attacked them.
Steve Linders, SPPD’s spokesperson, says the decision to shoot came after the dog continued to charge at people.READ MORE: 3 More Rapid COVID-19 Testing Locations Open Tuesday In Inver Grove Heights, Wadena, Hibbing
“The dog broke containment, broke free, took off running towards a group of people who had gathered to watch and a St. Paul Fire medic rig which was on scene treating three of the people who had been bit,” Linders said. “So officers made the very difficult decision to put the dog down.”
Records from St. Paul Animal Control show the dog bit one of El-Dweek’s neighbors last October. Deborah Bachrach lives nearby and told us she was chased by the same dog.
“I called animal control, they came out and the man from animal control said, ‘Yes, we’ve had lots of reports about it,'” Bachrach said.
Other neighbors told us when they saw El-Dweek walking the dog, they worried about his ability to control it.
Heather DuPont says she kept her kids inside if she saw the man and his dog outside.
“Big Rottweiler puppy and older gentleman. He’s really nice, but had trouble with the dog,” DuPont said.
She says the dog often got out of its yard.
“Everyone was concerned about the dog in the neighborhood. Every time he’d get out, people would call and try to get him contained and stuff,” she said.
The St. Paul City Attorney told WCCO the dog’s owner was cited for violating two city ordinances. They are misdemeanors, and he will have to appear in court and possibly pay a fine.MORE NEWS: Northern Minnesota Man Arrested After Allegedly Assault 2 People With Hand Saw
It is still possible that the victims could pursue civil charges.