St. Petersburg police officers cleared in dog shootings

ST. PETERSBURG — Three police officers who fired their weapons at dogs in three different incidents this summer were cleared of any wrongdoing by a shooting review board on Thursday.

The incidents in which the dogs were shot:

• Three officers were investigating a domestic incident on July 25 when they entered a home at 843½ 16th Ave. N, according to police. They were met by an aggressive pit bull terrier, police said, which the residents could not control.

The dog charged Officer Jereme Hayes and kept him from leaving the house. Fearing officer injury, he shot and killed the dog.

• A report of a vicious dog brought two officers to 1733 29th Ave. N on Aug. 1. But when a neighbor tried to help police corral the dog, the agency said it charged him and Officer Matthew Kirchgraber.

Kirchgraber drew his weapon and fired twice. The pit bull terrier was wounded but ran away and wasn't found.

• Officer Curtis Wright was answering an Aug. 19 animal complaint at 2165 Country Club Court N, according to police, when two pit bull terrier mixes attacked a county animal control worker.

Wright killed one of the animals and the other ran away but was later captured. The worker suffered "significant injury" to both arms.

•••

Another St. Petersburg officer who was injured when he was thrown from his personal motorcycle in April was suspended for two days without pay. That's because he didn't have a motorcycle endorsement on his license.

Officer Neil Rambaran and a passenger were injured on April 19, according to police, when a driver ignored a stop sign and pulled in front of his motorcycle on Sheldon Road in Hillsborough County.

Rambaran, who was wearing his helmet, was not at fault. But he was cited for riding a motorcycle illegally. In August the ticket was dismissed by a judge.

The officer apologized to a chain of command board on Thursday. He was suspended for conduct unbecoming an officer and breaking the law.

St. Petersburg police officers cleared in dog shootings 09/29/11 [Last modified: Thursday, September 29, 2011 11:10pm]

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