CHP investigates dog shooting incident

Christina O'Haver, The Union Democrat

The California Highway Patrol is investigating an incident last week in which an officer shot a Rottweiler dog at a Crystal Falls home during an investigation into a neighborhood noise complaint.

CHP Officer Stanley Dragun was dispatched at 10:48 a.m. Sunday, April 14, to a call about someone recklessly driving an unregistered, off-road motorcycle on the 22400 block of East Rhine River Drive, according to a CHP report on the incident.

Dragun arrived at a house identified by the caller and saw a dirt bike matching the description provided.

He approached an entrance toward the rear of the house and saw additional motorcycles, leading him to believe he was in the right place.

He reportedly walked up to the unlatched screen door and yelled, "Hello."

The dog, Osa, lying on the ground next to a TV, raised her head and barked when she heard Dragun yell, the report said.

She reportedly ran toward Dragun, who backed away from the entrance, and lunged at his legs.

He drew his pistol and fired one round into the top of Osa's head, the report said. She died at the scene.

CHP spokesman Officer Nick Norton said the Rottweiler charged Dragun in an "aggressive manner."

"A Taser's not going to incapacitate a dog ... it's still going to get up and keep coming, same with pepper spray," Norton said.

Norton said Dragun fired the shot downward and did not point the gun toward the home.

Resident Samuel M. Sandoval, 24, his friend Michael McElreath, 24, a 1-year-old boy and a babysitter, Davinelle Worthington, were upstairs when the dog was shot, according to Sandoval's father and Osa's owner, Samuel J. Sandoval.

The police report did not include Worthington as a witness.

Geoffrey Hay, 24, who lives in the downstairs unit of the home, was lying on a bed near Osa, Sandoval said.

Sandoval said he would transport Osa between his son's Crystal Falls home and his Bay Area home. Sandoval was in the Bay Area when Osa died.

He had Osa since she was a puppy and described her as a "peaceful dog."

"She was a family dog and good to everybody," he said. "I'm not going to just forget about her."

Norton said the CHP looks into any incident where an officer fires a gun.

"We can't just go around shooting things without some sort of investigation," he said.

Dragun found insufficient evidence that someone was recklessly driving an unregistered motorcycle in the roadway, which is considered an infraction, the report said.

The Union Democrat
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