An Edgewater woman whose pit bull was shot and killed by an Anne Arundel County police officer last fall has filed a $3 million lawsuit, alleging the officer was reckless and used excessive force.
The lawsuit accuses the unnamed police officer of attempting to enter the home of Deborah Ransom, 58, on Nov. 28, when the dog "enthusiastically and gently" pulled at the officer's sleeve, according to court records.
With Ransom and her teenage daughter, Tiffany Hancock, standing just a few feet away, the officer shot the dog in the back.
A news report last fall identified the policeman as Officer Adam Hinton, who had been called to Ransom's home in the 3600 block of 10th Avenue to investigate a complaint she made of a suspicious vehicle. A police spokesman defended Hinton at the time, saying the dog bit Hinton on the bicep and thigh, and that he feared further harm.
The suit, filed July 6 in Anne Arundel County Circuit Court, names the officer as a defendant, along with County Executive John R. Leopold, police Chief James Teare Sr. and the county Police Department.
Ransom and her daughter claim to have experienced fright and sleeplessness and have undergone counseling as a result of the incident, court records show. They say the officer acted maliciously and committed police misconduct by killing the dog, according to the records.
"The dog was a playful dog," said Michael J. Snider, Ransom's attorney. "He wasn't trying to hurt the officer at all."
A spokesman for the Police Department said the agency would not comment on pending litigation, nor on whether any action had been taken against the officer.