A California man says law enforcement officers still haven’t given him any reason why they showed up at his property on May 30, killed his dog and then urinated near his fence.
They also won’t release their original report about the incident.
But that’s probably because it was all caught on his home surveillance video.
Now Merced County has rejected a $1 million lawsuit this week claiming damages of pain and suffering from 61-year-old George Aguaristi after an investigator for the Merced County District Attorney’s Office killed his 5-year-old pit bull terrier named Samson.
“Why did they come to his property?” Alex Friedland, Aguaristi’s attorney, asked.
“We’re trying to establish what reason did they have to come onto George’s property that day, and thereby give them the authority to kill his dog.”
Aguaristi’s home has a “Beware of Dog” and “No Trespassing” signs posted on the front gate.
He was home sleeping when the incident happened and woke up to find a number left on his front door by the District Attorney and his dog missing.
After calling the number, he went into shock.
“I went in shock. I was just like my son? What? He said, “‘Yeah, we had to put him down. He was aggressive.'”
But that wasn’t as much shock as he felt after watching the surveillance video of the incident.
“They urinated on my fence, and it was insult to insult. I was heartbroken already, and I saw that it made it so angry that they could come kill my dog and just urinate. It just makes me very angry.”
Aguaristi says he’s not happy with the District Attorney’s lack of answers.
That’s why he sued the county.
“I loved him so much, and I want them to feel it, whether it’s in their pocket, I want them to feel the hurt that I feel,” he told ABC30.
Friedland says Mered County is withholding answers because they didn’t know a video existed and don’t want to release their original report.
“I’m afraid that when they found out we had video of what actually happened there they don’t want to give the report that was originally made,” he explained.
“I’ve never been denied a report like this before from a government agency.”
The office also declined an information request by the Sun-Star for the same report, according to the Merced Sun-Star.
The Merced County District Attorney’s office insists its exempt from releasing the original report.
“This is not unusual as such documents are part of an ongoing investigation and protected by attorney work product privilege,” Merced County spokesperson Mike North said.
Footage of the video shows an officer wearing a bullet proof vest armed with a gun approach the door of the house.
A female officer sprays the dog with something after it comes down from the porch and stands between her and the steps, which appears to agitate the dog, according to the Merced Sun Star.
When he advanced, she shoots the dog.
After carrying the dog away, officers reportedly used a garden hose to clean up a pool of blood.
A separate camera shows an officer urinating near a fence.
The investigator who urinated on the fence is being handled internally, according to the DA’s office.
Watch footage of the incident from ABC30 here.