Cops Shot at Retreating Arthritic Dog Toward House Filled with Children: Business as Usual

More in contemporary policing practice keeping you and yours safe and sound, out of Mason County, West Virginia, reported in the Charleston Daily Mail:

It starts with a bunch of police cars chasing a suspect in a car down a not-much-traveled rural road. A family dog goes to investigate when eight police officers and their dog in tactical gear emerge from the woods near the Sweat family home. 

Then:

[Ginger Sweat's] 6-year-old Basset hound/beagle mix, Willy Pete, left the porch and made his way toward the troopers. The dog, she said, suffered from arthritis in his back legs and was not aggressive...

Sweat said she was still inside when she saw the trooper raise a weapon at her dog.

“I ran out my door, jumping up and down screaming ‘don’t shoot my dog, he won’t bite, just let me get him in the house,’” she said.

She said the officer fired one shot toward the dog but missed. She said Willy Pete turned tail and was running back toward her.

“He ran towards me with desperation in his eyes,” she said. “They fired again in my direction. In the direction of my home where my kids were.”

She said three more shots were fired, a total of four shots. Willy Pete, she said, was hit three times. The dog went to the back of the mobile home. Sweat said she found the dog near the air conditioning unit.

“I watched my dog struggle and then die,” she said. “I collapsed in a puddle in the floor, screaming and crying."

The police would rather not talk about this, and would you all just calm the hell down, huh? We only shot a dog, for crying out loud!

Lt. Michael Baylous, State Police spokesman, said troopers sometimes will inform the public in similar situations with a media burst or by going door to door, but that it was his understanding there was no time for that in Tuesday’s case.

Baylous said officers still are searching for [Jonathan] Jeffers [the suspect they were pursuing]. He declined comment on the shooting of the dog.

“It’s counterproductive and it’s only serving to fan the tension,” Baylous said. “We have had several people responding to us in a very irrational way and we feel that it’s counterproductive to comment further.”

Hat tip: reader Matthew Thomas

Reason on cops shooting dogs.

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  • ||

    One for the free-range parents: dude arrested because his son was gallivanting all over the neighborhood playing hookey...from church.

  • Brett L||

    Lost his job? For getting arrested on a bullshit charge?

  • ||

    Fucking assholes. God damn fucking assholes.

  • Restoras||

    Someday, this war on puppies will end.

  • ||

    We all know that avoiding the cops at all costs is the way to go, yet even then, sometimes no matter what you do, they will still blunder their way into your life and possibly kill you or your family members or your dog. And there's nothing you can do about it. Isn't living in a police state great? It's not even really a "police state", it's a state where the police can literally do anything they want with virtually no consequences. It's more of a "police class state". If a ronin wants to cut your head off, well...you're fucked.

  • BambiB||

    Yes, there is something you can do about it.

    Bomb a police station.

  • Vulgar Madman||

    Hello ATF! Create any good crimes lately?

  • Robert||

    You'd have to bomb all of them to be sure to get the ones you want.

  • croaker||

    Bombs are too indiscriminate. But if the cops succeed in taking away our guns, it may be all we have left.

  • Andrew S.||

    A fucking beagle/basset hound mix? What the hell did that coward cop think the dog was going to do, lick him to death?

    Have we always had a caste system where cops were above the law and it's just in the past 15 or so years that I've noticed, or are things continually getting worse?

  • Brett L||

    Worse now. Its mostly because there are more cops per capita than ever. That and giving them all paramilitary training. Well "paramilitary" training. If they were ever to encounter someone who wanted to kill a bunch of cops in defensive encounter, they'd be fucked. Because they don't use any of the techniques that people actually afraid of being shot do... like reconnaissance.

  • Andrew S.||

    True. I dunno. I'm just angry now.

    Curious to think what would be the excuse for militarization if that incident in Hollywood hadn't happened back in the 90s.

  • ||

    9-11. It's the excuse for everything.

  • Brett L||

    9/11. Terrorism. The War on Drugs (which started the whole trend).

  • Gene||

    9/11. Terrorism. The War on Drugs (which started the whole trend).

    My favorite part was when I became a terrorist by default for enjoying cannabis.

  • Invisible Finger||

    Curious to think what would be the excuse for militarization i

    WTF?

    Forget about the excuses, we'll always have those.

    The problem was the Reagan-era fellating of the military and spending on equipment like rationing was going to start tomorrow.

    Clinton may have got a few bases closed, but spending on machinery and equipment that wasn't needed kept right on rising.

    The stuff had to go somewhere and why should dirty foreigners get all the stuff we paid for when we have plenty of dirty police right here at home who want the shit.

  • Bam!||

    When towns were smaller, I think cops were more integrated into the community, preventing such rampant abuse.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Meh, the cops were always (at least in my life anyway) brutal, cowardly thugs to minorities.

    I think that back in the day, the cops were mostly white and viewed themselves as part of the white tribe. So, they'd fuck with messicans and black folk but not with white people, especially middle class white people.

    All of the diversity out reach and affirmative action programs from the 70s on eventually killed that affinity.

    The problem is that it made cops more insular, now they're only part of their own tribe and everyone outside of it is a potential enemy.

    So white folk and middle class people more generally are getting the same kind of treatment that only brownie got in the olden times.

  • pogi||

    As much fire discipline as they show in most of the situations we see reported it would take about 6 months before the fucktards had mostly shot each other if they were involved in anything other than a 6 cop swarm on a retarded 25 year old or beating your random, skinny, demented, homeless guy to death.

    In my 57 years on this planet I've encountered exactly 2 cops who were worthy of being called a human being. The rest? If I happened across their burning selves I'd gather more wood and call for marshmallows.

  • Robert||

    So why don't we all become cops? And then we can loot each other for our salaries.

  • croaker||

    If someone has a link to the fictional "nightline" story where pro-gun militias set up BATFucks on their no-knock raids, now would be the time to post it.

  • Shocked||

    And they are supported by the god damn media. Their "Oh my god; guns, war on cops, shooting epidemics, all cops are heroes" bullshit gives them cover. Despite all that is demonstrably not true.

  • Live Free Or Diet||

    News reporter the other night was all flipped out because a city near me had 42 murders in 2013, up from 36 in 2012. No mention that there were 93 in 1994.

  • Robert||

    And it's not like they were afraid of dogs, because they had their own dog with them.

  • Florida Man||

    “I ran out my door, jumping up and down screaming ‘don’t shoot my dog, he won’t bite, just let me get him in the house,’” she said. and returned fire with my own AR-15

    /What should have happened.

  • Restoras||

    Someday.

  • NYC2AZ||

    I wish. Of course in this case, the problem is the 7 other cops that would turn you into Swiss cheese because you're an AR-owning, 30-round-mag-loving, terrorist that didn't feel your dog should be used as target practice.

  • BambiB||

    They hunt you and yours on your home turf.

    The answer is not to respond at the point of attack.

    The answer is to hunt them in their homes and on their turf.

    If they keep this up, at some point, there will be no safe place for any cop.

  • Live Free Or Diet||

    Hush. Don't wake the baby.

  • croaker||

    Cops already know this. They just believe that a) we don't have the stones to light it off, and b) they can count on the military to back them up.

    Not gonna happen.

  • Christophe||

    How much of my tax dollars are paying for your little "agent provocateur" shtick?

  • Harvard||

    WE simply MUST make RPG's available to the public.

  • croaker||

    Forget the AR-15. A 30-30 scoped deer rifle will go right through their body armor. Once. Then it will hit the back armor and ricochet through the body again.

  • Brian D||

    It bothers me that I'm almost numb to this.

  • Florida Man||

    How can you get numb to this? Eat one pisses me off more than the last. Like adding another screaming baby to a chorus of screaming babies!

  • GILMORE||

    "Please everyone, this is counterproductive".

    ...

    ...

    what was the 'productive' part of the conversation again? deflecting concerns that police routinely excuse their own excessive use of force?

  • PRX||

    is there a kickstarter campaign to keep a database of these kill crazy assholes? and whatever happened to being pet kill crazy being a warning sign of serial killer?

  • ||

    There was a Kickstarter to make a full-length documentary on puppycide. Didn't make enough money, so they bumped it down to a TV-length documentary.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    Wish I had known about it. I would have donated.

  • From the Tundra||

    Here. If you can stand it, there is a FB page dedicated to puppycide:

    https://www.facebook.com/DogsShotbyPolice

  • Andrew S.||

    You think the "counterproductive" statement was bad enough? This is from their Facebook page (on another unrelated story, replying to a badgelicker complaining about the people talking about the dog being shot)

    West Virginia State Police Please disregard Stony's comments. It has been a busy day to keep up with the comments from miscreants about the unfortunate shooting of the aggressive dog. I'm sorry you had to see those comments Ms. Crist.

  • Rasilio||

    "“It’s counterproductive and it’s only serving to fan the tension,” Baylous said. “We have had several people responding to us in a very irrational way"

    Irrational way? So I assumes that means that they have not yet descended on the local police office responsible apprehended the guilty tarred, feathered and rode them out of town on a rail yet?

    Cause that would be the entirely rational response.

  • croaker||

    No, the rational response would be to round up all seven and turn them into lamp post decorations in the town square.

  • Raston Bot||

    A comment posted by the official State Police Facebook page described the incident as “the unfortunate shooting of the aggressive dog.”

    They're managing to clean up the shitstorm from their FB page as it posts. Fuck them.

  • Grand Moff Serious Man||

    “It’s counterproductive and it’s only serving to fan the tension,” Baylous said. “We have had several people responding to us in a very irrational way and we feel that it’s counterproductive to comment further.”

    Oh really asshole? In a just world you and those pussies dressed up like soldiers would be facing a mob.

    I'd say a few angry phone calls is getting off pretty damn easy.

  • Adam.||

    You just couldn't help it, COULD YOU? A nice friday afternoon and then an atomic nutpunch. Those cops are scum.

  • Andrew S.||

    Reason can't stand to see us happy. They need to throw nutpunches in now and then, especially on Friday afternoons, to make sure we stay miserable.

  • Brett L||

    Just carrying on Balko's tradition.

  • JW||

    A Mason County woman is calling on authorities to change their practices after an officer fired shots toward her home and killed her dog during a search for a criminal suspect.

    Ginger Sweat, 32, was inside her Johns Creek area home that she shares with her husband and two children early Tuesday afternoon when she saw a car speeding down the normally quiet road. Thinking it was her neighbors at first, she sent a text message to her husband asking him to tell the neighbors to drive slower.

    But when she saw two police cruisers speeding down the road, she called her husband to ask him if he knew what was going on. Her husband then called the local State Police detachment to let officers know that his wife and children — aged 18 months and 7 months —were in the home.

    “The first time he called they blew him off,” she said. “The second time he called they said they would let the officers know.”

    He told her the officers were looking for Jonathan Jeffers, who reportedly threatened his wife early Tuesday morning, fired a shot at an officer responding to the calls for help and fled in a vehicle.

    Look, I know that modern journalism has been reduced to the loevel of little more than 4th grade writing, but that entire passage made no sense at all.

    They were looking for the speeding guy? Did guy threaten her after they called the cops or before? Does one have anything to do with the other?

  • ||

    Cohesion and comprehensibility are not what the media is after. They fellate the state, including the cops. They want the reader to be confused and just come away with a vague sense of "the cops were in the right". That's all they care about.

  • ||

    And why would the cops stop at her house when in pursuit of a suspect in a car? Did the fleeing car stop at her house? It doesn't say that at all, so I have to wonder why the cops would have even stopped to that house.

  • JW||

    Who the fuck calls the cops to let them know that their wife and kids are in the house, before anything happens?

    It's like they hired someone to write, who suffers from temporal aphasia.

  • ||

    Someone who is afraid the cops will act like rampaging chimpanzees and might shoot first and ask questions later? Personally, if the cops are already charging around like crazed monkeys, trying to get their dispatcher to maybe get them to be slightly careful doesn't sound like a terrible idea.

  • Brian||

    Personally, if the cops are already charging around like crazed monkeys, trying to get their dispatcher to maybe get them to be slightly careful doesn't sound like a terrible idea.

    However, knowing cops, it's probably a useless exercise, at that point.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    Well, they were right. The family was worried that something would happen to them, and then it did.

  • Jay419||

    I live on a "not much traveled rural road". If cop cars come speeding down it there's a good chance whatever is happening has something to do with my house or my neighbors house. So yeah, as everyone else said, someone who is afraid that the cops were going to get trigger happy might call the cops to let them know their wife and kids were in the house, which is exactly what ended up happening DESPITE the warning.

  • Restoras||

    These are the details that the cops don't want coming out. Right now are probably wishing they had thought of the 'crashed hard drive' story.

  • Swamp Think||

    Well, it says he took a shot at a cop. Until he is neutralized, no man or beast is safe.

  • albo||

    A Basset/Beagle mix? It's as likely to howl you to death, not bite you.

  • Grand Moff Serious Man||

    This is particularly upsetting to me because I own a beagle and even though he is the least threatening dog ever I just know he's a dead dog if the cops ever come onto my parent's property.

  • From the Tundra||

    I hear you. I have a sheep dog who is incredibly protective of my property, my wife and my kids. If one of these fuckwits ever has to come into the yard, I know for a fact my dog is dead.

  • Shocked||

    I had a beagle. All they want to do is smell you. Smelling a cop = a death sentence.

  • JW||

    Goddamn it. It took over a dozen tries to post that. Fuck you squirrels.

    Oh, and fuck the police too. Never call the cops, unless you absolutely have to. Never.

  • Restoras||

    Never call the cops, unless you absolutely have to. Never.

    I can't imagine there actually are many times when you have time to call them when you actually need them. Best to not take any chances.

  • JW||

    The only reason I can think of is to file an insurance claim for theft. They always want a police report.

  • Andrew S.||

    But as seen here, they didn't call the cops, they just showed up. Sure, you never call them, but they still might manage to fuck you over anyways.

  • Jay419||

    The police are useless, I'm better armed than they are, probably a better shot too. Why the fuck would I call someone to come kill or subdue an intruder for me.

  • GILMORE||

    The line from the State Police spokesman reminds me of this quip from Bass Eye

    The spirit of the thing at least.

    "Look, we could stand here all day and go back and forth about Who Shot Who and What Dog Should Have Been on a Leash, or Whose Children Might be Taken by Protective Services For Negligence, but I'm not sure that's going to get us anywhere. The productive thing is to learn from the situation and Move On! What difference, at this point, does it matter anyway!?"

  • lap83||

    I think the sex episode might be the best.

    "still, it wouldn't have made such a good story...and maybe that's the point"

  • BigT||

    In NY they published the addresses of all those gun owners. Why not get a website with the names and addresses and even photos of all the murdering pigs? We have websites for sex offenders. Why not cops?

  • croaker||

    Because the cops will have a judge give them a warrant and they will burn down the house of anyone who tries.

  • JW||

    “It’s counterproductive and it’s only serving to fan the tension,” Baylous said. “We have had several people responding to us in a very irrational way and we feel that it’s counterproductive to comment further.”

    Please! This is supposed to be a happy occasion. Let's not bicker and argue over 'oo killed 'oo.

  • buybuydandavis||

    There's the quote we needed.

    You don't have to get offa my lawn.

  • db||

    I think it's pretty fucking counterproductive to go around shooting.g the pets of people you are supposed to be protecting and serving.

  • PRX||

    duly noted Johnny Law as far as this potential juror is concerned. at this point any defendant has more credibility than a cop.

  • Grand Moff Serious Man||

    So in summation, those cops made home safely that night and nothing else happened.

  • MJGreen||

    God damn it. A Basset/Beagle that was running away from the cops? This is the hardest nut punch in a long while. God damn it.

  • ChrisO||

    So many nut punches. So many nut punches...

  • MegaloMonocle||

    Anyone shooting intentionally at me or my house is going to get a lesson in returned fire, with an advanced course in high-capacity magazines. Within thirty seconds I can lay my hands on a .308 with two 20 round mags, a .45 with two 14 round mags, and a shotgun with a 7 round mag. I can probably get over fifty rounds in the air in less than 90 seconds. And if somebody is shooting at me, I will try.

    Yeah, yeah, internet tough gai. But those mags are loaded, and the guns are to hand, for a reason.

  • MegaloMonocle||

    Let's not overlook that these goons are not only murderous thugs, but incompetent as well. They didn't even arrest the perp.

    As in other stories where the cops break off from their incredibly important pursuit of a violent criminal for a little recreational dog shooting, the bad guy gets away.

    R C Dean

  • ||

    If I fear that my life is in jeopardy because an unleashed dog is attacking me, and I shoot the policeman's dog, what happens next?

  • Christophe||

    Trick question. You and the dog both die in a hail of bullet the instant the cops realize you're packing. You never get to shoot the dog.

  • Remnant Psyche||

    Thank goodness for the police unions, eh? They'll make sure the most that'll happen to the human shitstain is a few days paid vacation.

    I'd blow a cop's head off for doing this to any of my dogs. Fuck the consequences.

  • BambiB||

    Some day some pig is going to pull this kind of stunt, the owner is going to go get his .30-06 and put one right between the pig's eyes.

    I would hope to be on that jury. Justifiable swine-i-cide.

  • Jeremy Sweat||

    My name is Jeremy Sweat and this story is about my dog. We appreciate the attention our story is receiving and ask for continued support. My family has been devastated by this situation, and we will continue to be determined to get to the bottom of what happened on Tuesday.

  • Jay419||

    Liked, Shared, and invited everyone on my friends list. I also do not condone threats or actions of violence against law enforcement, or anybody for that matter. I do however believe that a man has a right to protect his home and his family from any and all threats, including irrational law enforcement agents. I am truly sorry for your loss. I have a Pit Bull Mix and i worry all the time about something like this happening to him.

  • Jeremy Sweat||

    However, my family will not now or ever condone threats of violence against any law enforcement agent. This serves no purpose other than to misdirect the focus of our intentions.

  • Juice||

    They don't understand (or care about) anything else. Hopefully your petition will help you feel better, though.

  • Jeremy Sweat||

    We want to bring to light the policies and procedures that allowed this tragic situation to affect my family. If you would please consider visiting our Facebook page and sign the petition we have started. We are open to any suggestions or means of support that anyone is kind enough to offer.

  • Jeremy Sweat||

    Please do not allow yourselves to be marginalized by comments typed in the heat of the moment. Thank you again for your continued support.

  • Jeremy Sweat||

    Justice For Willy Pete on Facebook

  • Jeremy Sweat||

    PLEASE CLICK MY USERNAME TO BE REDIRECTED TO OUR FACEBOOK PAGE

  • MSimon||

    I'm with you Jeremy. I don't condone violence except when necessary.

  • Harvard||

    And the time is now.

  • ||

    Meanwhile in Arlington, Texas where the opposite approach is used: http://www.star-telegram.com/2......html?rh=1

  • Christophe||

    Thank you for that.

  • CharlotteHaze||

    There's an obvious explanation for why the cop pumped THREE bullets into a sweet, retreating arthritic Basset Hound/ Beagle-- the explanation's in paragraph six: "...the officer fired one shot toward the dog but missed."

    The three successive shots were mulligans, to redeem his perceived marksmanship among his cop buddies.

  • buybuydandavis||

    I think the explanation is the usual one, "Because Fuck You, that's why."

  • Robert||

    That's approximately correct. Once the cops shoot at someone, they've identified it as enemy, so have to keep shooting at it until they've used up all their ammo. See Diallou.

    If they hear shots & can't ID their source, anyone in the vicinity they don't recognize must soak up all their bullets.

  • GroundTruth||

    He shot a baglehound? The cop is an idiot! Anyone who knows anything about dogs at all certainly knows that bassets, beagles or bagles are just about impossible to get to react aggressively under any circumstance. And arthritic too? These guys don't move too fast under the best of circumstances. If he had just shared a bit of his donut, he could have had a friend for life, but he decided to open fire anyway. Idiot. Idiot! Idiot!!!

    This guy ought to be fired for criminal stupidity, if nothing else.

  • GroundTruth||

    Just read this again, called my dog (a beagle) and gave her a hug and a treat, read it again. My eyes are full.

    THIS BASTARD COP SHOULD BE SHOT!

  • GroundTruth||

    FOUR TIMES!

    and then left to die while his wife and children look on.

  • buybuydandavis||

    “It’s counterproductive and it’s only serving to fan the tension,”...

    Oh, come on. Don't be shy, be honest. You know you want to say it.

    "Because, Fuck You, and your dead dog too, that's why."

    Now didn't that feel better?

  • Juice||

    "We're dog people too."

    You may think you're "dog people" because you have K9 dogs, but you just demonstrated that you are not even close to a "dog person".

    "Give me your shovel. I'll bury him."

    You may think you're being sensitive and compassionate here, but if you said that to me I would want to put the shovel through your fucking skull, you dumb savage.

  • croaker||

    Don't beat him with your shovel, citizen's arrest for attempted destruction of evidence. If he resists, THEN beat him with your shovel.

  • Jay419||

    If this happened to me I would return fire on those police officers that innocent families home was ATTACKED by people sworn to protect us. My dog is a member of my family and I will die to protect him because I know he would die to protect me. This has got to stop. Someday soon somebody like me is going to kill one of these piece of shit cops for shooting their dog on their own property.

  • Robert||

    How do you know it hasn't happened already, possibly several times?

  • Meerkatx||

    https://twitter.com/Mbaylous There is the State Police spokesman.

  • astronomical object||

    14 March 2014 "All 50 States Now Have Felony Animal Cruelty Provisions!"

    http://aldf.org/blog/50-states.....rovisions/

    Charge these monsters with felony animal cruelty, sue them (and/or the city/county/state)for trauma, and ban them from all contact with any animal.

    RIP Willy Pete, sweet-sweet pup.

  • Angel-NYC||

    Has anyone started a petition demanding "Justice for Willy Pete"? I will gladly sign.

  • Jay419||

    I have contacted all local and state officials on this personally, you should do the same. The West Virginia State Police are working around the clock to censor their FB page, deleting all information relating to the case and trying to pretend it never happened. I have been banned 7 times now from their page for presenting facts and calling for action. I urge you all to relentlessly bombard them with the truth so that they must face it and all will know it.

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