Dog attacks policeman responding to fight call County officer requires 23 stitches in his leg

February 09, 1996|By Ed Heard | Ed Heard,SUN STAFF

A Howard County police officer was bitten repeatedly by a dog in Columbia's Wilde Lake village on Wednesday night while breaking up a fight between two brothers, one of whom was wielding a sword, police said.

Officer Bradley Neff, 29, who has been with the department since March 1995, required 23 stitches in his lower right leg after the attack, which ended when he shot the German shepherd.

The dog later was euthanized at the family's request.

Police refused to identify the two brothers, ages 24 and 34, because they have not been charged, said Sgt. Steven Keller, a police spokesman. Officer Neff was out on worker's compensation yesterday and could not be reached for comment.

Police said the incident began about 9 p.m. in the 5100 block of Flowertuft Court, police said, where a 24-year-old intoxicated man was arguing with his mother. Police said the man's brother tried to stop the fight, eventually grabbing a 2-foot sword.

Called to the scene by someone at the house, Officer Neff arrived about 9:45 p.m., drew his 9 mm service handgun and ordered the man to drop the sword. The man did so, his brother ran, and the family's German shepherd dog attacked the officer, biting him several times, police said.

Officer Neff and a backup officer tried to beat the dog away with their metal flashlights, but the attack ended only after Officer Neff fired a shot into the dog. The animal ran away but was caught and taken to an animal hospital, where it was put to death.

The officer was treated for punctures, cuts and bruises at Howard County General Hospital and released, said Lt. Mike Baker, a spokesman for the county Department of Fire and Rescue.

Sergeant Keller said a similar attack by the animal occurred at the home last March, when the dog bit an officer responding to a quarrel between a husband and wife.

After that attack, the dog was put on quarantine inside the home for 10 days. The family was charged $150 for four civil citations, including not having a dog license or a recent rabies vaccination for the pet, police said.

No charges were filed against residents in that incident, and the officer recovered from the injuries.

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