In a Johnstonian News Group exclusive, the Princeton Police released the detailed incident report of the Sunday, Aug. 12 fatal shooting of a dog.
According to the report, police were dispatched at 7:33 p.m. regarding a report of an aggressive brown and white pit bull in the area of 422 South Pine Street.
Upon arrival at the scene, police said the dog wasn’t located but the complainant advised they were outside and the pit bull came up to them in an aggressive manner. The complainant advised that when the pit bull came up to her, they ran back inside and called 911. The complainant advised that the dog ran back toward West Third Street.
Princeton Police Officer Daniel Toole rode the area but didn’t locate the dog. A short time later, the same complainant called back and advised the dog was still in the area and acting aggressive.
Toole said he located the dog on West Third Street near the Princeton Senior Center. Toole said he attempted to get close enough to see if the dog had any type of identification tags but only a green collar.
At about this time, Toole said the dog started barking and showing his teeth. As Toole returned to his patrol car, he said the dog ran t0ward him. The dog then fled the ran into a field headed toward Princeton Elementary School.
Over the course of several hours, Toole said he received three complaints were received at 911 about the pit bull attempting to bite people.
A short time later, while patrolling James Street and West First Street, a citizen said the pit bull just ran up to him, tried to bite him and then fled the scene. Toole said he continued to patrol the area but did not locate the dog.
About 30 minutes later, a group of people were observed by Toole walking down South Pine Street. As Toole was speaking to them regarding the location of the dog, Toole said the pit bull came up in an aggressive manner and appeared to be trying to bite someone.
Toole activated the air horn on his patrol car to attempt to scare the dog away but said it became more aggressive.
Toole said he got out of his patrol car, discharged his weapon in an unsuccessful attempt to stop the dog. Toole said he got out of his patrol car and the dog became increasingly aggressive by barking, growling and showing its teeth. Toole said this resulted in the application of deadly force.
Police Chief Tyrone Sutton said at the time of shooting the police department did not know the identity of the owner. Not knowing the owner’s identity, Sutton said the dog was buried by members of the Public Works Department. He said the dog could not be exhumed and returned to the owner for environmental reasons.
A follow-up investigation on Monday, Aug. 13 revealed a bullet hole in the location of where the dog was killed. The owner of the vehicle was later determined to be the owner of the dog. The incident report stated no one else was hurt and no other property was damaged in this incident.
Sutton said the police department became aware of the owner’s identity on Monday, Aug. 13 when she contacted the Police Department inquiring about the bullet hole in the car and her dog being missing.