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Old 02-17-2008, 04:58 AM   #1
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Default Man sues city after police shoot, kill dog



OrlandoSentinel.com
Man sues city after police shoot, kill dog
Rene Stutzman

Sentinel Staff Writer

5:38 PM EST, February 15, 2008

SANFORD

A man has filed suit against the city of Winter Springs, accusing two of its police officers of mistaking his home for someone else's, hauling him outdoors without clothes and shooting dead his Rottweiler.

The suit, filed Thursday, seeks unspecified damages.

William A. Riggin alleges he was in the shower when officers "stormed" into his home May 14, 2006. They thought they were three houses down, responding a home where an alarm had sounded.

Police said the officers walked in through an unlocked sliding glass door, and when the 130-pound dog, a 3-year-old named Dirk, lunged at one of the officers, he shot it.

The dog died about a half hour later. Police did not allow Riggin to tend to him until it was too late, according to the suit.

It alleges the police department was negligent and that Riggin has suffered humiliation, emotional pain and the loss of his pet.

At the time, police said part of the problem was that Riggin lived in a neighborhood where some addresses were unmarked or poorly marked.

Police spokesman Capt. Kevin Brunelle today said, "It was an incident we wish didn't happen."
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Old 02-17-2008, 10:20 AM   #2
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This is one more in a growing list of tragic mistakes on the part of LEOs.

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Old 02-18-2008, 05:38 AM   #3
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Would you not think it is odd that one the BG brought a 130# Rottie with him and two was taking a shower?

Did the house alarm sound only to the company or did it have the very loud alarm sounding waking up the entire neighborhood?

You have to wonder if there was anything else going on.

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Old 02-18-2008, 06:36 AM   #4
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It's apparent the cops didn't know there was a dog in the house when they entered. Nor were they aware someone was inside taking a shower.

It's an unfortunate situation, and though there's not an epidemic of this sort of thing, it does seem to happen a few times too many nationwide.

Thankfully, no humans were harmed. I'd say the police department owes him a new dog, and maybe a settlement of a few thousand dollars for negligence.

Forget the "emotional pain" etc. I wouldn't give him a dime for any of that.

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Old 02-18-2008, 11:49 PM   #5
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This stuff really irks me. How hard is it to make sure you have the right address before storming in and shooting up the place? Is a burglar going to take his dog with him, break into a house and then take a shower?

Maybe there's more to the story.

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Old 02-19-2008, 01:34 AM   #6
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Quote:
OrlandoSentinel.com
Man sues city after police shoot, kill dog
Rene Stutzman
Sentinel Staff Writer
5:38 PM EST, February 15, 2008
SANFORD
A man has filed suit against the city of Winter Springs, accusing two of its police officers of mistaking his home for someone else's, hauling him outdoors without clothes and shooting dead his Rottweiler.
The suit, filed Thursday, seeks unspecified damages.
William A. Riggin alleges he was in the shower when officers "stormed" into his home May 14, 2006.
They thought they were three houses down, responding a home where an alarm had sounded.
I'm not going to speak for or against this one yet, just wondering, why did it take almost 2 years for the lawsuit to be filed?
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Old 02-19-2008, 05:10 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quasi View Post
This stuff really irks me. How hard is it to make sure you have the right address before storming in and shooting up the place? Is a burglar going to take his dog with him, break into a house and then take a shower? Maybe there's more to the story.
Did it ever don on you that maybe they weren't aware he was taking a shower when they entered the house, and didn't know he had a dog?!

The bathroom I take a shower in is located well away from any of the entrances to my house, so anybody coming in wouldn't be aware that I was taking one until they got well into the house.

Plus the fact that if the dog was inside the house somewhere when they came in, how would they know that if the dog wasn't barking? They obviously weren't aware a dog was in the house until it lunged at them.
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Old 02-19-2008, 05:11 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GlenJohnson View Post
I'm not going to speak for or against this one yet, just wondering, why did it take almost 2 years for the lawsuit to be filed?
That's one of the things I was also wondering about.
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Old 02-19-2008, 09:26 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GlenJohnson View Post
I'm not going to speak for or against this one yet, just wondering, why did it take almost 2 years for the lawsuit to be filed?
Was the suit filed recently? Or might it have been filed some time ago and it's only now getting to court? Journalists sometimes have a way of screwing up important terminology.

But you make a good point. If the suit really was filed just now, it would be nice to learn why because this starts to smell pretty bad if there isn't a good reason for the delay.
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