Arkansas police said a “vicious black pitbull” had to be killed because it had “charged” schoolchildren as well as a cop who was trying to protect the children.
But dashcam video from the Berryville police car show a medium-sized dog running around excitedly and barking before a Berryville police officer shot it twice with the schoolchildren nowhere near the dog. And no indication the dog wanted to attack anybody.
The dog’s owner, Danny Turner, told local media the dog was a 20-pound pitbull mix named Zelda. He described her as a “puppy” but police said they had no choice but to kill the dog to save the children – who were nowhere near the dog when it was shot.
The incident took place December . Berryville police have released a 1:09 minute dashcam video which shows the cop shooting but does not show the dog because she is obstructed by the hood of the cop car.
Prior to the shooting, a woman can be heard telling the cop, Cody Boren, that the dog did not bite but that made no difference.
According to the Carroll County News:
Turner said he was upset that Boren fired in the direction of his house, saying his mother-in-law and son were in the yard when the shots were fired. Bartos said Turner’s son was closer to the school bus than the house and noted that Boren was shooting at a downward angle.
“She was a small dog,” he said. “She was like 20 pounds.”
Turner described Zelda as a puppy and said three witnesses told him that “she was playing around.”
Bartos described Boren as a dog lover and longtime owner of a pit bull.
“It’s unfortunate that it happened,” he said, but added that Boren’s primary concern was the safety of the children exiting the school bus.
“He had to shoot the dog,” Bartos said. “There was no alternative on that.”
Berryville police provided their version of the incident on their Facebook page.
(Please note that idenitfying information is blacked out or marked with an “X” in order to protect personal information)
On December 13, 2019, at approximately 1530, an officer was dispatched to XXXXX in reference to a vicious black pitbull. A Carroll County Dispatch call card would later indicate that the reporting party was concerned for the children who would soon be arriving in the area via a school bus. The officer arrived at approximately 1530. He observed the described dog, a black pitbull mix breed dog, walking along Elsie Avenue. The dog came up to his driver’s door and began barking. He tried for sometime to create space between the dog and unit by reversing and going forward. This continued for some time but the dog maintained close proximity to the patrol unit. He believed the dog could possibly belong to a XXXXX. He asked Central Dispatch if they could attempt to make contact with XXXXX. Dispatch advised that they had no available means to contact XXXXX. He continued to relocate his unit in hopes that the dog would not follow. He contacted the chief over the phone and advised him of the situation. The officer informed him that he would be loading “less lethal” shotgun rounds into his issued shotgun. He asked the Secretary at the Berryville Police Department if contact could be made with XXXXX. He was informed that a call was attempted but there was no answer. He removed the lethal rounds from his issued shotgun. As he began to load “less lethal” rounds into the weapon, the magazine tube malfunctioned and rendered the weapon inoperable. Another vehicle drove down Elsie; the dog chased after it barking at the driver’s door. At this time an elderly woman came out of XXXXX. The officer asked her if the dog was hers; she advised that it was. He informed her that he was prepared to shoot the animal if it was not contained. She returned inside the residence to retrieve treats in hopes to bait the dog. The officer continued to try and remedy the malfunction that occurred to his issued shotgun. The dog then ran over to XXXXX, where it began biting the fence and trying to attack the two dogs in the backyard. The elderly woman exited XXXXX with a bag of treats in hand. She tried unsuccessfully to call the dog back to her yard. At this time, the officer observed a Berryville School bus approaching the intersection of McCloud and Elsie. The dog began running toward the school bus, he exited his patrol unit and observed the dog barking at the children getting off the bus. He could hear the children at the school bus screaming. The sound of the officer shutting his patrol unit door got the attention of the dog, which now was running towards the officer. He drew his duty weapon and yelled at the dog in hopes that it would retreat. The dog retreated around the driver’s side of the officer’s unit. Seconds later, the dog ran around the driver’s side of his unit and charged the officer. He fired two rounds from his duty pistol which neutralized the animal. He spoke to the male who was driving the other vehicle that the dog had chased. XXXXX advised that he saw the dog charge him and witnessed the dog charge the children as they exited the school bus.
On our page is a segment of the officer’s car camera, viewer discretion is advised.
One of the commenters to the police statement was a woman named Charli Sweeney who contradicted the police description that the dog was “vicious.”
“Sorry was not a vicious dog. That dog lived in my neighborhood. All the dogs bark at each other thru the fences. She was a high strung 2 year old pit mix.”
Turner does not plan to pursue legal action, according to local media.