Two Anne Arundel prosecutors assigned to dog shooting probe

No time frame set for investigation

August 10, 2010|By Andrea F. Siegel, The Baltimore Sun

Two prosecutors have been assigned to work with police on the investigation into the shooting of a Siberian husky Aug. 2 at the private dog park in the Quail Run community in Severn, the Anne Arundel County state's attorney said Tuesday.

"It is still under investigation," Frank R. Weathersbee said, with prosecutors and county police investigators working together on the case.

He said he could not say when a decision would be made on whether to file charges against the off-duty officer who shot the dog.

One of the prosecutors, Kimberly DiPietro, handles the office's animal cruelty cases and other matters relating to animals.

She said there are two issues: whether the still-unnamed shooter had a right to carry a weapon, and whether the shooting of the pet violated the law.

Nothing prohibits the shooter, a civilian police officer employed by the Army at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall in Northern Virginia, from carrying his service or personal weapon off-post, according to a spokeswoman for military officials at the post.

The weapon used in the shooting was the man's personal weapon, police said. Police said Friday that the officer's legal authority to carry a personal firearm was "questionable."

The officer's attorney said his client fired because the husky became aggressive toward him and his wife and had its mouth on the neck of their pet, a German shepherd named Asia. He said the man who brought Bear-Bear, the husky, to the park, did not intervene despite their requests and their efforts to pull their leashed dog back.

According to Bear-Bear's owners, Rachel and Ryan Rettaliata, her brother took the dog to the park. She said the husky was off-leash and that her brother said play had become a little rough, but before he could respond to the shepherd owner's request, the man shot Bear-Bear.

Police have not released the name of the shooter.

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