Rockville police kill dog after it attacks owner

By Dan Morse
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, November 30, 2009

A Rockville police officer fatally shot a 120-pound Rottweiler-pit bull mix early Sunday after the dog attacked its owner, eluded officers for hours and ignored electrical shocks from a Taser, officials said.

The owner, a 38-year-old man, had surgery Saturday night for injuries that included puncture wounds to his chest and thigh, police said. He was in good condition Sunday at Suburban Hospital.

An officer fired two bullets from his handgun, both of which hit the dog, at 1 a.m. Sunday.

"We tried everything," said Rockville Police Chief Terry N. Treschuk, describing hours spent in the house trying to calm and capture the dog, named Jesus (pronounced Hay-SOOS). "We just had to make a decision and bring this to an end."

Police were called to the house, in the 5800 block of Ridgeway Avenue in the city's Twinbrook area, at 6:20 p.m. Saturday. Montgomery County police officers were the first to arrive. They found the owner with wounds to his chest, thigh, arms, feet and at least one hand, officials said. Three children were also in the house but were not hurt, police said.

Police said the dog had apparently become agitated when the owner closed his bedroom door to keep him out. Officers tried for hours to capture the dog, which had broken out of a room where it had been contained. It jumped on window sills and barked repeatedly. The owner had asked police to capture the dog and have him euthanized.

At one point, four officers were in the house while others set up a perimeter outside in case Jesus escaped. They used a "capture pole," but it didn't work. They considered sedatives or tranquilizers but couldn't find any.

Police fired three to four projectiles from a Taser, which typically drops people. "It didn't faze the dog at all," the chief said. "We took the last option."

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