Dog Bites Man, Chief Shoots Dog

Covington Police Chief Spike Jones shot what is believed to be a pitbull Monday afternoon.

Police had been searching the West Latonia area after responding to reports that the dog was loose on the streets. Though the animal had been spotted by officers at one point, the dog took off running and was out of sight. Chief Jones was driving near the 2800 block of Madison Avenue on his way home from work and saw the dog attacking a man on the street.

Jones, who had already changed from his uniform into plain clothes, drove his car on to the sidewalk and started to honk is horn in an effort to scare the dog off, but he said the animal continued to attack the man. When Jones got out of his car the dog set his sights on the chief.

"I'm driving up Madison fifteen minutes later going home and the dog comes running across the street a hundred yards in front of me and attacks this guy so I drive over toward the dog, blowing my horn and screaming to 'let dog, let go', trying to get him to focus his attention on me, and boy he did," Jones recounted. "I decided shooting him would probably be better than being bitten."

Jones opened fire, striking the dog in the face. The wounded dog then ran off to its home on Blackburn Avenue where it was located and taken into custody by animal control officers.

The man that was attacked by the dog suffered puncture wounds to one of his legs and was transported to the hospital.

"They'll check the dog and make sure he doesn't have rabies and has had all its shots," Jones said. "If it's deemed to vicious, which is up to animal control, the dog could potentially be put down."

Jones said that department policy is that if an officer or a member of the public is threatened by an animal, an officer has clearance to shoot it. "Things you have to consider is what your backdrop looks like, are you creating more hazard than the dog, and in this case we weren't," Jones said. "So, essentially, it's like protecting yourself."

"The dog was vicious. It attacked a citizen and when I intervened, the dog charged me."

Jones was unsure if the dog complies with the city's pitbull requirements, part of which requires that the animal be registered. Officers still on the scene Monday evening were looking into that issue. 

"I feel bad for that guy who got bit worse than anything because he was just heading up the street and got mauled," Jones said. "What if that was a little kid or a mother with a baby in her arms? How bad could that have been? We're fortunate it worked out the way it did."
 
Written by Michael Monks, editor & publisher of The River City News
 
Photo: Covington Police Chief Spike Jones official portrait