A Baltimore police dog was shot Sunday evening by a police officer during a foot pursuit of a motorist who drove through a speed checkpoint in South Baltimore, said a Police Department spokesman.
About 6 p.m., police were manning the checkpoint in the 2600 block of Wegworth Lane near Hollins Ferry Road, near Wegworth Park, when a male motorist failed to stop when ordered and drove through the stop, said Anthony Guglielmi, chief spokesman for the Police Department.
Guglielmi said the motorist got out of the car a few moments later and was fleeing on foot when officers at the checkpoint enlisted the aid of a K-9 unit to chase the man down. Shortly after the K-9 unit arrived and the dog, a German shepherd named Blade, was pursuing the motorist, an officer arrived on the scene from a different direction. That officer was approaching the scene when the dog apparently mistook him for the motorist and attacked him, biting the officer in the upper body.
Guglielmi said the officer, not knowing the dog was a police dog, pulled out his 40-caliber Glock semiautomatic handgun and shot the dog at least once in the face. Guglielmi said the officer's body armor prevented him from being seriously injured. He said the dog was not wearing any type of Police Department identification, such as a vest.
Guglielmi said the dog was taken by a police vehicle to Falls Road Animal Hospital in Mount Washington, where it underwent emergency surgery for a bullet wound. He did not know how many times the dog was shot or in what part of the body he was hit. The dog's condition was not available last night.
The incident remains under investigation.