Cops Enter Home Through Window, Shoot Two Dogs; Saw a Footprint on a Bucket While Looking For an Unidentified Suspect

One dog had to be euthanized, the other survived, no suspect was ever found


shot by cop
screen grab

Who needs a warrant when you have "exigent circumstances"? Police in Florida say they were looking for an unidentified gun-toting suspect they believed sometimes hung out at the home they ended up entering into and shooting two dogs, a pitbull and a bulldog mix. From the Pensacola News Journal:

While checking the perimeter of the home, deputies found an upside-down bucket with a footprint on it beneath an open window, indicating a possible unlawful entry into the home, the release says.

"Repeated attempts were made to get someone to open the door, with no success," the release states. "Deputies entered the house through the open window in an effort to locate the suspect and to assure the safety of the occupants."

How many deputies came in through the window is not clear.

Police say one of the dogs became "aggressive" and "bit at" one of the officers so he "shot in self-defense." The second dog responded to the aggression by running toward the officer, so, police say, "[f]or personal safety, he shot the second dog."

The residents of the home say that's not how it happened:

[Cristina Moses] said she and her fiance [Travis Nicholas] were asleep when they heard a commotion and the dogs inside the bedroom with them started barking.

"I opened the door and there were six police officers pointing guns at me and flashlights, saying 'Show me your hands. Get on the ground,' " Moses said.

"I went to the ground when they told me to and then they said, 'Is there anybody else in the room?' and Travis said 'Yes, I am,' and they put him on the ground, told him 'Show me your hands. Show me your hands.' "

At that point, Moses and Nicholas said, officers pulled them onto the ground of the hallway, cuffing Nicholas, and placing their boots on the couple's backs and arms.

"The cops threw Cristina on the ground, cussing," Nicholas said. "It was obvious that I'm not armed because I'm in my boxers."

The couple said that as they were lying on the ground, a deputy went back into the bedroom.

 "And I'm in the doorway so I can see into the bedroom, and I see him shooting across the bed … to my dogs that are on the opposite side of a queen-sized bed," Moses said.

"I heard five shots go off. Around the third shot, I hopped up and I went 'No stop. No.' And he continued to fire a couple more shots after that," she said.

The thirteen-month-old pitbull had to put down because of her injuries but the three-year-old bulldog mix survived.

The unidentified suspect, meanwhile, was never found, although police say one of the witnesses said the name of the gun-toting man was named "Travis". The unidentified suspect allegedly interrupted another argument, and the man involved in that argument was arrested for aggravated assault.

h/t dosguide

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  1. I think I’m getting Shot Dog Fatigue.

    1. Imagine how the dogs must feel.

  2. Police in Florida say they were looking for an unidentified gun-toting suspect they believed sometimes hung out at the home

    Pro Libertate?

    1. ProL’s not the type to use a bucket. He’d walk right in the front door.

      I’m betting STEVE SMITH’s involved somehow.

      1. It clearly says footprint and not pawprint.

    2. Nobody would ever invite ProLib into their home.

      1. Exactly, exigent circs…

      2. Hot pursuit, invitation, what’s the difference?

        1. I hear you play hard to get, so that would be “cold pursuit”.

          1. I’m married. I only hotly pursue my wife. Or coldly pursue.

  3. Saw a Footprint on a Bucket While Looking Foran Unidentified Suspect

    OMG, get an editor, Reason.

    The correct way to say that is, ‘Saw a footprint on a bucket while looking for a an unidentified furen suspect’.

    It’s spelled ‘furen’, not ‘foran’ when referring to the unwashed heathen brown folks who have invaded Murika and took our jerbz.


    1. Furrin!

      Get a dickshunarry, Moran!

      1. What the fuck? You one of them Canucks, or something? Can’t spell? Bah!

      2. Must mean “furry”, which is why the dogs were shot.

    2. Them dang fur’n’rs!

  4. What we need is for someone to see an open door at a police station, think this might mean that a Terminator has gone inside to shoot the place up, and then fill the entire building with molten steel “for personal safety”.

    1. The new GTA V can’t arrive on my doorstep soon enough so I can take sweet fictional revenge for every puppy slaughtered by the agents of state oppression.

      1. I’ll be in my bunk 😉

    2. +1 I’ll be back.

  5. I want bullet proof windows, steel siding and steel frame doors.

    Not because I’m scared of criminals.

    1. It has been a fantasy of mine to install such robust external home construction that when they whip out the ram and hit the door jam the only thing that happens is the cop’s wrists and finger vibrate until they fall off.

      1. And then upload the video of the surprise raid FAIL to youtube.

        *BAM* *BAM* *BAM* “Try the window!” “Bang bang bang!”

        (via intercom) “Can I help you officers?”

        “Can you please open the door?”

        1. LOL… this should be a kickstarter project. We’ll build it in Florida and spread rumors that black people are growing pot and raising pitbulls inside while running an illegal hair salon with weekly poker games. Forget YouTube, this is prime-time entertainment!

          1. +1 Jumpin Jack Flash

          2. Until they inevitably go to the wrong address and slaughter whatever combo of disabled veterans and dogs living there instead.

    2. http://knstrct.com/2011/04/10/the-safe-house/

      Concrete home, windows covered at night by metal siding or concrete and the front door is only reached by a drawbridge.

  6. “The cops threw Cristina on the ground, cussing,” Nicholas said. “It was obvious that I’m not armed because I’m in my boxers.”

    If they saw me in my boxers, they’d think I was armed…

    I’m here all ze veek.

    1. It’s like a baby’s arm holdin an apple!

      1. “It’s like Gary Coleman’s fucking forearm!”

  7. What do you want to bet the footprint on the bucket was from a cop?

    1. I’d definitely like to see a comparison between the alleged footprint and the tread pattern on the cop’s boots.

  8. I suspect that cops are now having to actually break into houses to find dogs to satisfy their blood lust. They’ve become so notorious as dog shooters that most people are actually keeping their dogs away from them, leaving them with no targets.

  9. This just shows that cops don’t give a shit anymore. There is no way anyone who is even remotely familiar with the legal doctrine of public safety or exigent circumstances could ever conclude this was legal. No one is that stupid or uninformed. They didn’t even do the analysis. The only way someone would do something like this is if they think that they can enter any home for any reason.

  10. Does Obamacare allow me to send you my cardiologist bill, Reason? Because I feel like I should be able to do that.

  11. The unidentified suspect, meanwhile, was never found, although police say one of the witnesses said the name of the gun-toting man was named “Travis”.

    We’re all Travis, now.

    1. My son could’ve been Travis.

      1. That coulda been my dog.

        1. That really could’ve been my dog. I’ve got a Rhodie/APBT mix, and a American Staffordshire. Neither one’s worth a damn as a guard dog, although the Rhodie has a pretty scary bark, and she makes a sound somewhere between an elephant seal and the Tusken raiders from Star Wars when she’s playing with other dogs, which is pretty weird. The worst part of this story is that my dogs sleep in our bed with us, and they’ve got very specific places where they’ll lay until my wife and I are both out of bed. If someone broke in, they’d definitely bark, but they’d stay right next to us.

  12. So, these cops violated Constitutional rights, unlawfully entered a private property, threatened the owners of the property with violence under the color of law, and committed criminal damage of property.

    I can’t possibly say FUCK THE POLICE loudly or manically enough.

    And I agree with the guy above — steel-framed doors, bulletproof glass on anything you’d find glass on (doors and windows), and three-foot-thick walls.

  13. I was walking my dog last night on a quiet suburban street. Walked past two cops sitting outside their patrol cars just talking with eachother. My dog, who like any good libertarian, is not well socialized, started huffing like he usually does when he sees another dog (and he’s a puggle weighing in at all of 17.5 lbs). I became deathly afraid that my dog was about to catch a police bullet, y’know, for “officer safety reasons.”

    1. He may not have posed a threat to those officers at that point in time, but your puppy might one day grow into a cold-blooded cop-mauling monster. Those cops clearly weren’t thinking of officer safety.

  14. The doormat at my front door has footprints on it. Exigent circumstances?

    1. *NEM’s front doot bashed in by cops*

      1. *a sweet, loving Jack Russell terrier prances towards the entrance, happily panting as it gets ready to excitedly plant a kiss on the visitors and play*

        *Officer Dunphy withdraws service pistol from holster, points directly at the innocuous pup and proceeds to unload all rounds from the magazine into the poor dog’s body as it twitches like Sonny Corelone at a toll booth.*

        *After reloading a new clip and filling the caged hamster in the adjoining room, Officer Dunphy places a strand of untrustworthy curly black hair on the front doorknob and tells the commanding officer “exigent circumstances”. They proceed to chuckle, their moustaches gyrating in the most obscene fashion.*

    2. Knew a guy who’s doormat read, “Come back with a Warrant”.

      Red state, gun owning dumpy white guy.

      I say again, they’ve lost their last, most reliable constituency.

      1. Whose… whatever.

      2. Uh, I own that doormat. Got it from Target.

        1. See? When you lose Target, you’ve lost America!

  15. Note to Tulpa: this is why some of us aren’t reflexively inclined to taste boot leather.

    1. Tulpa would counter that the advantage to licking the jackboots is that you can’t see the barrel placed firmly against your skull.

      1. Tulpa would counter that the advantage to licking the jackboots is that you can’t see the barrel placed firmly against the back of your neck.

  16. Look at the comments from the linked story. Again, I see people are starting to change their attitudes about all of these abuses.

    What is amazing though, is that each time I read one of these stories and the comments, some of the commenters are shocked that this happened. How is that still possible?

    Truly, if we don’t come together in this country as one people and put a stop to this crap soon, we are going to be living in something more like North Korea than the country we once knew.

    1. Truly, if we don’t come together in this country as one people and put a stop to this crap soon, we are going to be living in something more like North Korea than the country we once knew.

      Hell, its almost so bad that people will be seeking asylum in DPRK soon enough.

      1. All joking aside, the immigration problem will be solved soon enough. It will be the departures that will be a problem. Which is why McCain wants his big fence.

      2. Like Snowden?

    2. Killing the dogs is what is doing it. People love dogs. Nothing gets you on the bad side of society than killing dogs. The question is at what point are people going to stand up and do something?

      1. The question is at what point are people going to stand up and do something?

        Probably never. Sorry, I’m feeling especially cynical today.

      2. Well, personally, I reserve the right to murder with extreme prejudice anyone who shoots at or otherwise antagonizes my dogs. Fuck a badge.

      3. This is what did in the IRA. When one of their bombs killed some show horses, public opinion of the IRA tanked and their political arm couldn’t clean up the mess.

    3. Christ goddamnit, I had a vignette written out about the spate of officer-perpetrated killings last year and the lackluster response among conservative radio callers (most agreed that training is the problem, or that we “need better cops”?no indication that anyone thought it systemic or irremediable). Then I hit F5 in the wrong window.

      Point was, I disagree that attitudes have changed or even that they are changing. The pedigree of folks who read an article like this rather than handwave it away as the necessity of breaking eggs for omelettes, if they think about it at all, is fairly self-selected. Those who bother commenting are even more narrowly circumscribed. For most folk, cops fall somewhere between necessary nuisance and the only thing keeping us from falling to the savages.

      I believe Dunphy when he says most people favor cops, although his takeaway?that it’s anything to do with “liking” cops?is frankly narcissistic. People don’t have to like cops to appreciate having cops around if they’re convinced vatos and gangbangers will otherwise beat down the front door to rape their daughters and hook their sons on heroin. Turning the public against police, even increasingly authoritarian, militarized, and creepy police, will require more than a few dead dogs.

      1. A cop is going to have to be elected president of the US. That’ll turn ’em against cops.

  17. So I asked the rhetorical question before of whether there’s any situation in which an on-duty officer can shoot somebody and not have it be declared justified. I’ll ask a similar question now: Is there any situation in which an officer cannot claim exigent circumstances? I mean, at this point they’re well trained enough to parrot the correct words when asked about it. Regardless of whether it was legitimate, it’s going to be believed by the court, isn’t it?

    1. They can always claim it. But it clearly doesn’t exist here. As I said above, this just shows they don’t even bother worrying about it anymore.

    2. There is no allowance for exigent circumstances anyway. There is no constitutional or legal basis for trying to claim that exigent circumstances allow you to ignore constitutional limitations on police power. And that’s assuming there are real exigent circumstances that exist and not a bucket sitting outside a window.

  18. The police can shoot in “self-defense”, but the dogs can’t exercise any measure of self-defense.

    Sure, there’s no double standard here.

  19. How often are dogs shot by non-cops?

    1. Rarely, do you have any idea what the consequences are? Higher standards!

    2. True story (civilian shoots dog):

      Lewis later told KOMO that, “If I didn’t have my gun, I’d be dead right now. It was an instant decision. It’s not something I wanted to do. I love animals.”

      Here’s a ‘civilian’s’ version of an ‘instant decision’.

      When Lewis attempted to pull the pit bull off of his dog, the two other pit bulls joined the attack and could not be removed, even when the owner of the pit bulls, a Seattle man, tried to remove them as well.

      The three pit bulls continued to attack the shepherd and when one was pulled off, it turned to attack Lewis, the Kirkland man.

      So… after a considerable amount of effort, Lewis finally pulled his weapon and fired it. This opposed to the, a-dog-is-on-the-property-*bang*bang*bang* process cops go through.


  20. If it wasn’t for this site I would have never known about the contempt that the PO-PO has for man’s best friend. Poor dogs. 🙁

    1. What does that stand for? “Police On Patrol Officer”?

  21. So, if a cop crawls through my window without a warrant can I shoot him in self defense?

    1. Only if you think you can convince Radley Balko to spend ten years trying to get your ass off death row (name of man saved by Balko forgotten).

    2. reply to this

      Chewbama| 8.7.13 @ 5:14PM |#

      So, if a cop crawls through my window without a warrant can I shoot him in self defense?

      If you live in Indiana.

      1. “Ask me what I say to a dead cop’s wife / The cops shoot my people every day. That’s life.”

  22. My pit bull– and isn’t it amazing how the cops can always identify breed, and it’s always a pit bull?– is as goofy and non-agressive as a dog can be, yet even she might be moved to jump someone entering the house unannounced in the middle of the night. Still, all she’d do is lick them to death. My Jack Russell? He’d be the one to do the biting. I get the impression, however, that if only one was shot, it wouldn’t be him.

    1. Frankly, I can almost understand when its a pit bull that the officers shoot (not that pit bulls are by nature violent, just that they have the physical tools to wreak havok should they become provoked). Doubleplus that often time pit bulls in the areas cops are serving warrants are raised to be attackers and/or defenders.

      But its not just pits that get shot. Its corgies, daschunds, and anything else a cop can justify.

      The tragedy here is not just the dead dog, but also the fact that those fucking pigs never had the goddamned authority to be on that property.

    2. Better shoot them both then, you know… to be safe.

    3. Yeah, it works like this: if the dog bit, it’s a pit. It might have been a shepherd mix prior, but if the hair’s short enough, it becomes a PIT BULL (!!1!) the moment it bites. Also, mixed-breed dogs are always “purebred” pit bulls. It’s in the AP Style Guide. And, shockingly, the bully breeds have amazingly high bite stats. It’s like saying that there are Jeep Cherokees and there are sportscars. And all sportscars speed. So if you’re speeding, you’re in a sportscar. Even if it’s shaped like a station wagon.

      I’ve rescued two, one AmStaff and one Rhodie/APBT/something, and foster puppies. When the jackbooted thug on the scene turns an animal in to animal control, they have to list as breed whatever the officer (or whoever turns the dog in) says. So, I’ve fostered rat terriers, Lab mixes, Great Dane mixes, and Jack Russel mixes that were *all* “pit bulls”.

      Meanwhile, about 30 dogs in (including my own) the only real aggression issues I’ve seen were in one poor girl who’d been abused so badly she had a lump of bone on her skull. She was very, very dog aggressive with strange dogs, but fine with our two. I’ve never seen human aggression in any of the dogs we’ve fostered or encountered. Which is not to say it doesn’t happen, but it’s rare enough in my experience to be the exception rather than the rule.

  23. Because the best way to determine if someone has broken into a home is clearly to break into it and potentially get attacked. Why the fuck are cops so eager to chase bears into their caves?

  24. “Deputies entered the house through the open window in an effort to locate the suspect and to assure the safety of the occupants.”

    Because the best way to assure the safety of occupants is to point guns at them, force them to the ground, cuff them, curse them, and step on their backs and hands. Oh, yes, and shoot their dogs.

    1. Well, clearly the pit bull was dangerous, ’cause it was a pit bull. It was just biding its time. They’re wily like that.

  25. I have a feeling cops may be using stimulants, steroids, testosterone or other drugs that can impair judgement and cause violent behavior. They need daily drug tests and to be tested right after any violence.

    One sees story after story about behavior that seems like that of violent madmen done by police.

  26. Kristallnacht before our very eyes.

    I’m starting to feel the fear that those guys must have felt.

  27. How do you even look for an UNIDENTIFIED suspect? That is absurd on it’s face.

    You can accurately rewrite that statement to read: “Police were searching for a random person to arrest.

  28. This kind of shit HAS to stop. Seriously, “exigent circumstances”? That phrase is abhorrent.

  29. This is all getting out of hand.

    Lawsuits need to fly every time this stuff goes down. Municipalities cannot handle multiple million dollar lawsuits- they are not insured for them. And a budget crisis caused by the police behaving illegally WILL materially affect police behavior.

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