Rochester Police officer bitten by pit bull during drug raid
Posted at: 09/04/2012 12:43 PM
| Updated at: 09/04/2012 5:52 PM
By: Ray Levato | WHEC.com
Rochester Police shot three pit bulls during a drug raid on a house on Norton Street. One officer was bitten in the leg during the raid. Police say two of the dogs were killed. The third was being treated.
This is the latest in a series of pit bull attacks where police had to fire their guns to protect themselves.
Police took six people into custody, three men and three women. But so far, only one has been arrested on a felony drug charge. Police Chief James Sheppard said they seized 18 dogs in total and Chief Sheppard also said there was dog fighting going on at the property.
The raid involved more than a dozen officers, some of them undercover drug officers.
Hazel Coleman, neighborhood resident, said, “I heard three shots. They came out of the truck with their guns drawn. And they shot three times. And I ran in the house shaking, scared.”
Police served two warrants and seized drugs and dogs. News10NBC saw city police officers remove dog after dog and several people were led away in handcuffs to waiting patrol cars.
Rochester Police Chief James Sheppard, Rochester Police Department, said, “Three dogs were shot. Two dogs are deceased. One of the dogs did bite one of the officers in the lower leg in the calf.”
The chief wouldn't elaborate on what kind of dog-fighting was going on in the house.
Chief Sheppard said, “A lot of times what you find when there are drug sales there's also illegal weapons. Illegal weapons does put a little bit of fear in our officers when they make those warrant executions.”
The house on Norton Street backs up to a small street called Emanon Street where residents say the house has been attracting people at all hours.
Susie Mack, neighborhood resident, said, “They go back and forth on the street 40 or 50 miles an hour. We can't even park on the street because it's so bad. There's so much traffic and besides there's four or five kids on the street, small kids.”
Police also found a safe inside the house, and used a sledge hammer and crowbar to open it. One resident said she was happy to see her tax dollars being used for something.
Virginia Calloway, neighborhood resident said, “It's good to see the police at work, using our tax dollars effectively. I wish I could thank them all for coming to take these people to jail today. I hope it's going to be effective and they can shut this down because it just moves from there to the corner up the street. We can't go to the store. We can't play in the yard.”
Chief Sheppard said the officer that was bitten on the leg was treated and released from the hospital. He wouldn’t specify what type of drugs was in the house.
Chief Sheppard said if the dogs are aggressive and don’t back off when officers enter a house, those officers are empowered to shoot for their own safety and to prevent people inside the house from stashing evidence or getting out weapons of their own.