Man wounded, dog killed in separate police-involved shootings

Shooting of dog Tuesday angers owner; man wounded Wednesday expected to survive

January 02, 2013|By Justin George, The Baltimore Sun

A Baltimore police officer shot a man during a foot chase Wednesday, marking the second time in two days that a Northeast district officer fired a gun while in pursuit of a suspect.

Just one person was injured in the separate shootings — the man shot Wednesday was struck in the hand. He was being treated at Johns Hopkins Hospital. A foot chase Tuesday in the Frankford and Cedonia neighborhoods ended with an officer shooting and killing a dog.

In Wednesday's shooting, police said a man flashed a gun while being chased. Officers found no weapon after several officers and a police dog scoured the shooting scene. The incident began with a routine traffic stop at about 2 p.m. in the Belair-Edison neighborhood, police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said.

Uniformed officers had stopped a car on the 3200 block of Cliftmont Ave. when a man jumped out and began running. Two officers followed the man, who crossed Edison Highway and ducked into an alley behind Cliftmont Avenue.

The man turned toward the officers and "engaged" them, Guglielmi said. One officer reported seeing a gun and his partner fired at least one round, striking the suspect in the hand, Guglielmi said.

Police did not know whether the officer who fired his gun saw a weapon or whether he fired on the word of his partner, whom he told investigators he was protecting. Homicide detectives, who customarily investigate all police-involved shootings, were looking into the incident.

"How he turned, what [officers] saw, those are the questions being investigated," Guglielmi said.

Police would not release the name of the officers involved Wednesday, saying the names would be released after 48 hours, as is department policy. They didn't release the name of the man shot. Guglielmi didn't know the grounds for the traffic stop.

In the Frankford chase a day earlier, police went around 11 a.m. to a home in the 5800 block of Arizona Ave. for a report of a domestic dispute. Tavon Green, 31, who lives on the 1700 block of Latrobe Ave., told police that his former girlfriend was "disrespecting him" and had told him to leave the home, according to a police report.

After verbal spats with police, a detective told Green he was under arrest, prompting him to jump a backyard chain-link fence of a home inn the 5500 block of Bucknell Road. Police followed and found him hiding on a home's rear basement steps. An officer drew his gun.

At that time, a dog came out of the home and charged at the police officer, the report said. Police shot and killed the dog, then took Green into custody after a brief struggle.

Police said the shooting was justified.

"If the dog was aggressive towards the officers or threatened the officers or anyone else," Guglielmi said, "we have the legal right to protect the officer or anyone else and make the situation as safe as possible."

But the dog's owner, Stacy Fields, disputed the police account and said the officer used unneeded force. She said the dog only barked at the officer and didn't charge. Fields' stepfather, who followed the dog out of the home, was about to grab the dog's harness when she said the officer fired six shots, hitting the dog three times — twice in the head and once in the body.

"He very well could have shot my stepfather," she said.

The dog had just turned three, Fields said. Named Kincaid, he was a white pitbull mix with brown around his eyes and ears and white stripe running up his snout and forehead. Fields has called on police to apologize but said she hasn't received any response to her inquiries.

As of Wednesday evening, a Facebook page called "Kincaid. Killed by Baltimore City Police" that featured a bloody profile picture of the slain dog had received 3,437 likes.

"It wasn't a stray dog down the street," she said. "It was our yard."

jgeorge@baltsun.com

twitter.com/justingeorge

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