A strange series of incidents in Racine, Wisconsin, on Saturday resulted in a standoff between a man and police, and the death of the man’s dog.
WITI reports that Kim Polk, the unidentified man’s neighbor, asked him to pick up a pile of dog poop that his dog had left in her yard. Instead of picking it up, the man kicked the pile towards some leaves that she was raking. According to Polk, the man then told her that he was going to shoot her family’s dog with a bow and arrow. She says she told her husband what had happened, and when he approached the neighbor, the man closed the door. When he reopened it, he had a machete in his hand. At that point Polk says she had her daughter call the police.
Police arrived on the scene in an armored vehicle. According to WISN, the police spent five hours trying to talk to the man, who was locked inside his house. Polk, who says she and her family had to leave their house for security, describes what happened when the man came out to confront police.
When he finally decided to come out of the house he was irate, upset and was telling the cops to get off his property; that he was going to harm them, he was going to shoot at the cops.
According to police, at some point during the stand off, the man released a small dog from inside his house. Cell phone video captured by a neighbor shows a dog that appears to be running towards police, who are standing behind the armored vehicle. One officer is standing a few steps away, holding what appears to be a K-9 German Shepherd. The small dog runs in the direction of the officers, then stops and turns to run away from them. When the dog turns, shots can be heard, and the dog falls, apparently shot to death. Someone on the video can be heard yelling, “Oh my God! They shot the dog! You f***ing a**holes!”
The Racine County Eye says that Racine police chief Art Howell is reviewing the standoff, and the shooting of the dog. Howell is promising a complete review, however, a statement he released already suggests that he will find no fault in the officers’ behavior.
During this standoff, the dog owner threatened to use a body armor piercing crossbow to kill officers, and this subject threatened to use his dog as a weapon against officers as well. After several hours of dialogue with crisis negotiators, the barricaded subject ultimately made good on his threat to introduce the dog into the active standoff.
After the dog was released, the dynamics of this encounter changed. Officers, who for over three hours were focused on peacefully resolving this crisis through dialogue, were now forced to deal with the distraction and unpredictability of having the subject’s dog moving through the scene of this active encounter at a critical time.
Howell tells the County Eye that he will have no further comment until after he speaks with the officers involved, and the supervisors who were on duty.[Picture courtesy of Abe Baez]