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Harford sheriff's deputy kills pit bull after dog bites child

A pit bull was shot and killed Wednesday afternoon in Edgewood by a deputy with the Harford County sheriff's office after it bit a child and then charged the officer, according to a sheriff's spokeswoman.

The shooting came one day after the General Assembly deadlocked over legislation that would have overruled a court decision labeling pit bulls as inherently dangerous animals, ending the bill's chance of passage during this summer's second special session.

An anonymous caller first contacted police about 4:50 p.m. to report two aggressive pit bulls walking in the 1400 block of St. Michael's Court in the Stoneleigh Square subdivision, said Monica Worrell, the spokeswoman.

A second call came in at 5:03 p.m. from a man who said the two dogs were acting aggressively and jumping at his door, Worrell said.

Two deputies arrived on the block and saw the two dogs — one male and one female — acting in a nonaggressive manner, Worrell said.

The male dog then saw an 11-year-old boy, ran at the boy and bit him on the face and arm, Worrell said.

The boy required "minor medical attention" and was not taken to a hospital, Worrell said.

One of the deputies returned to the patrol vehicle to retrieve a shotgun, then aimed it at the dog, Worrell said. The male dog charged at the deputy, who fired the shotgun four times, each time hitting the dog, Worrell said.

The dog continued to charge the officer, who then pulled his handgun and fired once, hitting the dog and killing it, Worrell said.

The female dog ran from the location to a nearby home, which an investigation showed was where both dogs lived, Worrell said. Neighbors indicated to police that the owners of the home had moved out a few days earlier and left the dogs behind, Worrell said.

Police were investigating the incident late Wednesday, Worrell said.

There were no other injuries.

A "use of force" report will be written, but the initial information indicated the deputy acted in self-defense, and he has not been placed on administrative leave, Worrell said.

A pit bull was fatally shot by a Baltimore police officer in June, and another was fatally shot by a Howard County officer in February. Both dogs had charged the officers, police said.

krector@baltsun.com

twitter.com/rectorsun

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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