On June 20, 2013, at 8:53 PM, officers responded to the 700 block of N. Elm Street for a report of a pedestrian being attacked and bitten by a dog. The dog was fatally wounded by a Champaign Police Officer who also reported being charged at by the same dog.
A 20-year-old man reported walking on Elm Street when a dog, appearing to be a pit bull, suddenly charged at him from the yard of its residence. The dog lunged at the pedestrian and knocked him down on the sidewalk. While on the ground, the dog bit the pedestrian on his arm and leg. The pedestrian was able to escape from the dog by jumping over a nearby wire fence. A witness also reported seeing the dog roaming in the area of Vine and Elm Streets.
When the officer arrived on the scene, the dog spotted the officer, lunged forward and began running at a high rate of speed in his direction. The officer also noticed that the dog had a chain around his neck; however, it was later determined that the dog’s chain was not secured to a fixed object, which allowed it to roam freely. As the dog got closer to the officer and did not appear to be slowing down, the officer discharged his weapon and fatally wounded it.
At the conclusion of the incident, an Animal Control officer was called to the scene. Officers also made contact with the dog’s owner.
The bite victim received treatment at Carle Hospital for injuries sustained during the attack. The responding officer was not injured during this incident.
“Although this was an unfortunate event for all parties involved, I am thankful that this did not involve a child who could have been seriously injured. Pet owners, you have a responsibility to make sure that your animals are properly secured and under control at all times,” says Deputy Chief Joe Gallo.
Per departmental policy, there are two additional stages to investigating these types of incidents:
1. Professional Standards Investigation
2. Firearms Discharge Review Board
A Professional Standards investigation will be completed in order to:
1. Determine whether or not the firearm discharge was consistent with departmental policy;
2. Evaluate training considerations;
3. Evaluate policy considerations;
4. Evaluate firearms equipment;
5. Evaluate the quality of supervision prior to, during, and after the firearm discharge incident.
The Professional Standards investigation will result in the submission of a report of findings to the Chief of Police.
Whenever an officer discharges a firearm, deliberately, negligently, or accidentally, a Firearms Discharge Investigation and Review will occur. The Firearm Discharge Review Board will convene and review the circumstances associated with each firearm discharge.
The Board will evaluate each aspect of a firearm discharge, which will include:
1. A review of all reports concerning the involved incidents;
2. A review of the Professional Standards Investigation report;
3. Hearing direct testimony, if necessary, from officers and witnesses.
At the conclusion of this review, the the Board will make factual conclusions and recommendations to the Chief of Police.