Owner of pit bull cops were looking for was one of their own
BY MAUDLYNE IHEJIRIKA Staff Reporterfirstname.lastname@example.org April 17, 2012 11:42PM
This pit bull owner took off with his dog last month, witnesses say, after his dog attacked another at a Montrose Beach dog park. Audrey Fisher was with her daughter, throwing a ball with her dog Willy at the Montrose Dog Beach, when a pit bull decided it wanted the ball and practically ate Willy.
Updated: May 19, 2012 8:24AM
For the last month, Chicago Police had been searching for the man in the cellphone photo witnesses snapped — the owner of a pit bull that mauled and killed another dog at Montrose Beach Dog Park, leaving that dog’s owner with a $5,700 veterinary bill.
The pit bull owner in the picture had simply walked away, refusing to identify himself to Audrey Fisher and her devastated 12-year-old daughter Fayla, after his pit bull attacked Willy, their tiny 2½-year-old Pomeranian Papillon mix.
The pit bull owner had even promised to meet them at the vet but never showed.
Now, police say, the culprit was one of their own — an off-duty Chicago Police officer with five years on the force. The officer has been suspended, officials said Tuesday.
“You’ve gotta be kidding me,” a stunned Fisher said between gasps.
“This is unbelievable. All this time police have been helping me search for a police officer? Someone who showed no remorse at all, broke the law, refused to ID himself to a park full of witnesses, then lied to a 12-year-old child that he would come to the vet to see about her dying dog? This was someone charged with serving and protecting?”
After weeks of his picture being circulated on fliers at doggie parks throughout the North Side — the incident occurred March 17 — officials said the officer admitted to superiors it was him. Declining to identify the officer, officials said he has been relieved of police powers pending an investigation by the Bureau of Internal Affairs.
“The Chicago Police Department expects its members to demonstrate the highest standards of conduct on and off duty and will not permit wrongdoing to go unaddressed,” police brass said. The officer was ticketed for not making notification within 24 hours after an animal bites another domestic animal, as law requires. Chicago Park District rules also stipulate owners of dogs that attack other dogs at parks must foot the vet bills.
“I can’t tell you how this has been weighing on me, and on Fayla, who witnessed her dog practically being eaten,” said Fisher. “This is a man protecting our streets. Instead of acting like a cop and taking charge, he cowered out like a sissy girl and ran away. I expect justice to be served by the Chicago Police Department. I expect them to make one of their own follow the law and pay this bill he incurred when his pit killed my puppy, and I expect them to make him give my daughter and I an apology.”
Contributing: Michael Lansu