Healdton police officer uses deadly force in dog attack

Published: Jul. 26, 2017 at 7:31 PM CDT
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HEALDTON, Okla. (KXII)-- A Healdton police officer was attacked by pit Wednesday morning, prompting him to use deadly force.

Police say they have responded to reports of vicious dogs at a home on 5th Street and Magnolia multiple times, but In the past, were never able to find the dogs or make contact with the owners.

But after another call Wednesday morning, the dogs were still there when a police officer arrived on scene.

"The neighbor across the street tried to get to work this morning, but the dog just ran him into the car," Healdton Police Captain Jon Sumners said. "He couldn't get back out, so he just left and called us for help."

Sumners first tried to issue verbal commands to get the dogs away, and then the sound of a taser. But that's when one of the dogs attacked for the first time.

"What we try to do is try and capture them without incident. But at the same time, you know the urge is there for a dog to attack you," Sumners said. "You don't know what the dog's background is, how they treat them, if they beat them or take care of them."

He unsuccessfully tried to make contact with the owners at the front door, and circled around to try the backyard.

"The red pit bull came on the right side of me, and the black one came on the left side of me, and my training and experience with pit bulls, that's what they do to attack somebody." Sumners said.

"Bang, bang bang, whimpering."

He fired three shots at one of the dogs, who he failed to capture before it ran away. Eventually, it was captured with the help of animal control.

"I love dogs like anybody else," Sumners said. "It's sad I had to shoot a dog, but at the same time, I'm not going to get killed or hurt at the same time."

The other dog ran away too, and was later quarantined by the owner's sister due to an expired rabies vaccination.

A neighbor who heard the whole thing says the shooting was justified.

"Nobody got hurt," Neighbor James Asbery said. "Sorry for [the dog], because I'm a dog owner, but you gotta do what you gotta do."

The police chief says a few hours later, the dog's owner told police to put it down.