A Peruvian policeman shot and injured a charging dog on Monday, though the animal was treated and released within an hour, authorities said.
A yellow police tape was raised around 1 p.m. Monday between two houses in the 700 block of 12th Street in Peru. There, minutes earlier, an as yet unidentified officer shot a dog in one of its front paws. Police Chief Bob Pyszka, in an update posted at 2:25 p.m., said the dog was to be released from a veterinary clinic “with some restrictions, but will be fine.”
Pyszka said the officer was responding to the call of a loose dog and first observed it from the police cruiser to avoid direct contact. After the dog disappeared from sight, the officer got out of his patrol car to locate the animal. Pyszka then identified the dog as “a big black pit bull.”
“The dog charged my officer,” Pyszka said. “At that point, the officer fired a bullet at the dog, fearing for his life.”
Although the officer was not bitten, Pyszka said at least three complaints were filed against the animal by neighbors in five hours. Pyszka said a 96-year-old man was charged, a second neighbor reported the dog running loose, and a third said the dog jumped on a vehicle, scratching it.
“If it’s the same dog we’ve been dealing with for a while, chances are the dog’s owner will be charged with letting the dog run loose,” Pyszka said. However, the investigation is ongoing.
The investigation is continuing and the Peru Police Department is asking anyone with surveillance video from 7 a.m. to 1:20 p.m. Monday in this general area to contact the Peru Police Department at 815-223-2151.
At this time, according to the police, no charges have been filed.
A distraught man, identified by passers-by as the owner, stood at the end of the block yelling at “trigger-happy” cops and recording a video with his cellphone denouncing police conduct. When approached for comment, however, he declined to be interviewed. He accepted a telephone number for the NewsTribune for possible further comment from him or his lawyer; but there was no immediate call.
Two neighbors in the 600 block of 12th Street said the dog had escaped at least half a dozen times before, including once last week, although neither was sure the owner had received a ticket.
Pyszka’s description of the breed was corroborated by records filed with the La Salle Police Department. These show that the owner (then a resident of La Salle) received two running dog fines – the animal listed in both cases was a pit bull – and that the fines were never paid.
The Peruvian police are continuing their investigation. Anyone who will have CCTV from 7 a.m. to 1:20 p.m. in this general area is asked to contact the Peru Police Department at 815-223-2151.