Dog shot, killed during investigation

By Melanie Yingst

January 30, 2014

Staff Reports

PIQUA — Miami County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Dave Duchak said the owner of a large dog which lunged at two officers has claimed the animal, which was shot and killed during an investigation of a hit-skip accident earlier this week.

Chief Deputy Dave Duchak confirmed the breed of the dog which was killed in the incident was a Mastiff.

The investigation of a hit-skip accident in the 8000 block of Covington-Gettysburg Road, Covington occurred on Monday. Miami County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Todd Tennant was training with Deputy Brian Sweeny, and the pair responded to the call.

During the investigation, the officers attempted to contact the resident who had the truck that caused the damage at a nearby home. A Piqua Transfer truck was reported to have hit a road sign at the intersection of Covington-Gettysburg Road and Rangeline Road. Deputy Sweeny and Deputy Tennant located the Piqua Transfer truck at 8385 Covington-Gettysburg Road, Covington.

Deputy Sweeny attempted to make contact with the residents of the home where the Piqua Transfer truck was parked by knocking on their front door, but nobody answered.

Deputy Sweeny returned to the intersection of Covington-Gettysburg Road and Rangeline Road and found damage to a yard at the intersection. Upon further inspection, Deputy Sweeny found a road sign that was dragged into the yard. Deputy Sweeny made contact with the homeowners of a resident in the 4000 Rangeline Road and informed them that there was damage to their yard. The homeowners advised that a Piqua Transfer truck was the responsible party.

Deputy Sweeny returned to the listed address in an attempt to make contact with the residents of the responsible party again.

Deputy Tennant and Deputy Sweeny were approaching the house when a very large gray dog came out from the side of the house. The dog immediately began barking and approaching the officers. Both officers began to back up towards the cruiser. The dog continued to approach Deputy Sweeny while barking and showing its teeth. In the report, Sweeny said he was unable to retreat to the safety of the cruiser due to the swift approach of the dog. The dog continued barking and growling at both officers. The dog was within 4 feet of Deputy Sweeny when the deputy made the decision to draw his gun. Deputy Sweeny said he continued to back up until the dog lunged at him. Deputy Sweeny said he tripped on a snow bank and fell backwards while simultaneously firing three rounds, hitting the dog and killing it.

After the dog was killed, Deputy Tennant contacted his lieutenant to inform him that Deputy Sweeny had discharged his duty sidearm in order to dispatch an attacking dog. The deputy left a note on the front door of the residence informing the homeowner of the situation and to call dispatch when the note was received. The deputy was given permission to store the body of the dog at the animal shelter until the homeowner called.

Duchak said the owner of the dog contacted the sheriff’s office and claimed the animal was his. Duchak said the deputies had the right to protect themselves from the animal, which had no tags or restraint system at the time. Duchak said charges against the owner of the truck involved in the hit-skip accident have been passed on to the Miami County Prosecutor’s Office.

Duchak said the officers involved in the incident felt bad for putting the animal down, but had to protect themselves from the charging animal.