Pit bull shot after attacks on 2 N.Y. officers

P-1 talked to Cindy Bickle from the Naperville Animal Control at the Naperville (IL) PD. Cindy offers these dog aggression indicators for all dogs, not just pit bulls:

  • Pepper spray or a bite stick may heighten the dog's aggression or response.
  • The same goes for eye contact -- if it's a strong (temperament) breed, "staring them down" will not deter, and will likely incite.
  • There may be no warning signs of an attack. Dogs won't always growel or have any discernable change in facial expression.
  • Stiff legs can can indicate an Alpha dog or a strong personality.
  • Tail held level or high, not tucked or in "normal" stance for that breed of dog.
  • A wagging tail does NOT always mean the dog is friendly or approachable.
  • When confronted by an aggressive dog, your body language IS important:
    Don't run. The less movement the better. (NOTE: There are differing philosophies on this.)
  • Don't yell.
  • Don't flail arms.

By Michael Frazier

EAST MEADOW, N.Y. — An East Meadow man unwilling to accept a ticket for an unlicensed pit bull was arrested after he sicced the dog on two officers, police said yesterday.

A third officer shot and killed the dog as it was about to attack him, police said.

Dog owner Mtundo Vanterpool, 29, of 848 Richmond Rd., was arrested Monday on two counts of second-degree assault and other charges after the 10:38 p.m. dog attack in New Cassel, police said.

Earlier that night, Nassau police officers Jason Wrieske and Dennis Bennett approached Vanterpool at Prospect Avenue and State Street to cite him for violating a state law requiring dogs to be licensed, police said.

The dog didn't have a tag indicating to officers it was licensed.

Vanterpool kept the officers at bay with his dog before turning the pit bull loose on them, police said. The dog bit Wrieske on his left knee, and Bennett suffered a bite on the left ankle.

Police contained the dog in a yard on Prospect Avenue, where officers from the Emergency Services Unit tranquilized the pit bull. Despite being drugged, the pit bull began to approach a third officer, John Trutt of the Emergency Services Unit, who shot the dog before he was attacked, police said.

When the officers arrested Vanterpool, police said, he possessed 25 bags of a substance believed to be crack-cocaine. In addition to the assault charges, Vanterpool also was charged with third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, obstructing governmental administration, resisting arrest and violating the Town of North Hempstead's no dog license ordinance.

Vanterpool, who was held in the Nassau County jail, was tentatively scheduled to appear in First District Court in Hempstead today, court officials said.

Wrieske and Bennett were treated at Nassau University Medical Center in East Meadow and released.

The dog's remains were sent to the Nassau County health department, where it will be tested for disease, police said.

It was unclear whether Vanterpool's dog was licensed, as required by state law, but not wearing the required tags.

In the Town of North Hempstead, dog licenses are issued at the clerk's office. No one at that office would comment yesterday on whether the dog was licensed.

Copyright 2007 Newsday, Inc.

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