L.A. Cops Shoot At Pit Bull And Instead Kill Teenager

BY Herschel Smith
4 months, 3 weeks ago

News from L.A.:

Amber Alcantar woke early Thursday morning to a knock at the door.

Before her stood a friend of her nephew, 17-year-old Armando Garcia-Muro. The young man was frantically searching for Garcia-Muro’s mother, Alcantar told the Los Angeles Times. In his hands were bloody shoes.

“Obviously something was wrong,” Alcantar said.

What had just unfolded outside an apartment complex in Palmdale, Calif., would later be described by authorities as an “extremely, extremely unfortunate incident” and by his family as the tragic loss of an animal-loving teen. While trying to shoot a dog that had attacked an officer, deputies from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office instead struck Garcia-Muro.

Their bullets ricocheted off the driveway, authorities said, and one hit the teen’s chest. He later died at a hospital.

[ … ]

According to the police account, deputies were called to an apartment in Palmdale, a city 60 miles north of Los Angeles, just before 4 a.m. Thursday to investigate a report of “loud music.” They approached the apartment in question and were “aggressively charged” by a 60 to 65-pound pit bull, authorities said. The dog bit one of the deputies on the knee.

At that time, a “male Hispanic juvenile” emerged from behind the apartment, restrained the dog and took him back to the rear of the complex. Deputies “retreated back onto the street for safety,” treated the injured officer and called paramedics.

As they waited for help to arrive, the dog returned and charged the deputies again, authorities said. Two officers shot at the dog from a distance of five to seven feet and it returned to a carport area behind the complex.

Deputies followed the dog to trap it and “prevent additional victims” but in the carport area, they found the young teen bleeding on the ground from “what appeared to be a gunshot wound to the chest.” Deputies provided medical attention until paramedics transported the boy to a local hospital, where he died.

Now, let’s play a little thought experiment, boys and girls.  What if I was walking down the sidewalk and a dog lunged after me, and I shot at the dog, and ended up killing a human.  What do you think the reaction would be?  Would it all be just a big mistake, or would I go to prison for a very long time?

In another city, cops just couldn’t stand being proven wrong.

A Florida man spent 90 days in jail after police officers who stopped him for driving without headlights said white powder found in his car was cocaine.

But Karlos Cashe walked out of jail last week after lab results determined the powder in the handyman’s car was actually drywall.

Cashe tells WFTV he repeatedly told officers in Oviedo the substance was drywall. But after running a check they found he was on probation for marijuana and cocaine charges in 2015. Cashe says a K-9 alerted on his vehicle and an officer’s field test was positive for cocaine.

[ … ]

It took nearly three months for lab test results, which were negative for cocaine.

In the first instance, it never occurred to the LEOs to use OC spray and get the dog’s owner to restrain the dog.  In the second instance, they left the man in prison for three months before they got the lab results back.  Three months.

This is two more for the annals of “Cops are just like us, only smarter and better.”

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Comments

  1. On June 28, 2017 at 11:10 am, Dirk Williams said:

    How sad. I’ve been in this position a dozen times, everytime it was a pit bull dog. Capt, you don’t cap stun a attacking killing machine, you don’t tazer one either. Pit bulls are bred killers. Sure they can be mellow, at some point they flip.

    I’m a 25 year retired police officer, and deputy sheriff, retired in Calif, and Oregon. Killing anything is not pleasant, it sucks. What must be weighed is outcomes. Does this animal present a danger to the community. Is their time to call the dog pound, or does this animal need to be put down for the good of all. It’s a judgement call plan and simple.

    Your point is well taken, however a lot more went on then your publishing, that a young man lost his life is tragic, should have never happened.

    Why don’t you tell me how you would have handled this situation. From receiving a call for service. To clearing the scene.

    I feel the need to say this. Policing in America is a tough tough job, it’s not like patrolling a street in a far off land where you have no common denominator, your a outside occupier.
    Cops live in these communities, our children go to school with everybody else’s children go, their friend.

    We shop wher everybody else shops, we eat in the same places, partake in sporting events together, etc etc, we’re all Americans and in many applications were known to each other.

    We are a nation of laws, some reasonable some are bullshit, a good cop understands a thing called ” a teachable moment” in which the officer becomes the teacher, not the enforcer. A valuable tool, one I used perhaps thousands of times. The officer teaches a citizen by reading the specific law to the offender, in an attempt to educate, not cite to court.

    And then their are moments when deadly force is required. Snap decisions are made, and not all are the right choice. Bad shit happens bad Intel in, bad outcomes happen.

    When a cop is dispatched they are foolish to think all the facts have been provided by dispatch, they have receiver a readers digest version of what a citizen told them. Many of those calling 911 are not very good communicators.

    Like I said it can be a shitty job. So back to my objective. A pit bull attacks two cops, brighting one on the knee, and is captured and removed by the young man. The pit bull either escaped from the young man, or was released by the young man, and again seeks these officers out to attack.

    My guess is the dog escaped, which is why the young man was behind the dog. I wasn’t their, I don’t know.

    The dogs attacking again. What’s the old analogy,” the best indicator of current, actions, is past actions”. How should this been handled? Please tell me.

    I’ve been retired for seven years now, I don’t miss it, guess I was different, it was a job, not my identity. I’m ok with that.

    Thanks for the oppertunity to share from the other side.

    DW

  2. On June 28, 2017 at 1:54 pm, Herschel Smith said:

    Dirk,

    Here is what will end up being a lengthy reply, I’m sure. The entire edifice of police response, the schema, or the entire thought structure, needs to change in America (not that it will, leading to further alienation).

    First of all, remember that this is a call for loud music. Not a shooting, not an armed robbery, not domestic violence, but loud music. That should have set the tone for everything that followed.

    There is nothing in Biblical law, nothing in English common law, nothing in the Magna Carte, nothing in the federal code, and nothing in state law, that allows someone to shoot another man over theft (with the possible exceptions of Texas and Missouri, under limited circumstances).

    So if someone is in the process of stealing my TV (I have one for when other people visit the home but never watch it myself), I cannot discharge my weapon. The reason for this is that he is made in God’s image. He may be a thief, but he’s still human. I’ll tell him I hope he enjoys it and I won’t miss it one damn little bit. I might take pictures for the cops later, but maybe not since he is saving me disposal fee. If I lived in colonial America where having a mule or horse meant the difference between being able to plow the ground and not, then it has to do with survival, and that means I then must consider God’s image in me and my family. Things would be different, but here and now, they aren’t.

    In this case, the cops didn’t take care to know their backstop. They killed someone who was created in God’s image. They were sloppy, reckless, irresponsible, and violated the most basic gun safety law. Know your backstop. It isn’t a sad accident. The technical term for it is homicide.

    Next, the cop had the time to remove his retention device and unholster his weapon, and then discharge his weapon, before retreating. It find it unlikely that he would have been unable to use OC spray and retreat. Or simply retreat. Then he could have demanded that the person restrain the dog. Tactically, it’s smarter, safer, and more effective.

    Turning now to the dog, there is no moral or legal requirement for expecting me to own beasts that roll over and play dead when a cop comes around. That isn’t what good dogs do. People have dogs in part for self defense. I strongly suspect that the dog wasn’t a danger to the neighbors, and like most dogs, they know the neighbors and are gentle with them, or at least not a mortal danger.

    My own 90 pound Doberman can jump a six foot fence, and when threatened (I’ve witnessed it before), she never backs down, but goes after the threat, trips the threat from behind with her gigantic paws, gets underneath the threat, and bites for the neck / thoracic region to choke air. Fortunately when it has been other animals uncommon to the area I stop her since she obey my voice commands immediately.

    She is also such a “lovey” dog she wants to climb up in the lap of any neighbor who comes by. Cops are not neighbors. Cops are foreign to the area. Dogs interpret cops as a threat, and sometimes they are right. There is no way to distinguish between cops and anyone else. Dogs don’t do calculus.

    Turning now to the cops, they had no intrinsic right to be on another man’s property. Judges may say so, or state regulation may say so, but it just isn’t justifiable morally. No one was being killed or kidnapped. This was a call for loud music.

    I have had two exchanges with cops over the last decade that I can recall. Once they wanted to enter my home (not for me, but to discuss someone else), and I mentioned that they were welcome but I should restrain my dog. They said, “great idea – we’ve had some instances of bad interactions and the chief wants us to retreat and let people restrain their dogs.” The second time, a cop wanted my help with someone and Heidi – my dog – happened to be loose and in the driveway. He approached on the road, but didn’t venture too far and stayed 20 or 30 yards away and called for me. I put Heidi up and obliged.

    If I had to list a few pointers for cops the list would go something like this:

    1. Do not approach another man’s property assuming you have a right to be there. Ask permission first. Get people to restrain their beasts.
    2. Assume every man is armed.
    3. Assume every home has a big dog.
    4. Unholster your weapon only as a last resort.
    5. Do not waste your time making stupid stops. Stopping someone for a broken running light is a stupid stop when you can be shutting down gang activity. There is another regulatory scheme to ensure that the broken running light gets fixed, i.e., car inspection. Be loath to interact with men when they are in a confined space such as a car or truck. You can’t tell what they are doing, and they can’t tell what you are doing. Unless you are an outstanding communicator, your commands are likely to be misunderstood or misinterpreted, or worse yet, incomplete and unclear or even contradictory like in the case of Castile (show me your ID but don’t move).
    6. Most dogs are not “pure bred killers.” Most dogs take on the personality of their owner and only want to protect their owner. Understand this. Work with it, not against it. Use it to your advantage. Learn to work with animals, farm animals included. Train animals if you need to in order to gain this experience.

    In short, be thinking men. That’s something sorely lacking today in law enforcement. I’ll simply mention one more time that I have a good friend who retired as a captain in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department several years ago, who dealt with thousands of dogs, and effected hundreds of felony arrests by himself.

    Make no mistake about it. Charlotte has their share of bad, bad criminals just like Ca. For my friend, he never once had to use anything other than his voice and at the worst OC spray. He told me that every one of his felony arrests were made without ever discharging his weapon.

    Then again, “get the fuck on the ground … get the fuck on the ground …,” isn’t something he would ever say. EVER. He has a smart, calm, sensible, logical, disarming demeanor about him that make people want to cooperate.

    Because he is a thinking man.

  3. On June 28, 2017 at 7:46 pm, June J said:

    Reading the book “Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America’s Police Forces” by Radley Balko has changed how I view the police and their interactions with citizens.
    Too much trigger pulling and not enough thinking.

  4. On June 28, 2017 at 10:57 pm, Joshua Smith said:

    Dirk is peddling the same, old, tired, self-pitied lie that Cops are special. It’s just so gosh darn tough to be a cop. It’s really such a very hard job. You know, Cops have to interact with the scum of society and on and on and on it goes.

    Get. Over. Yourself.

    To sum up Herschel’s well-pened response, Dirk, those cops shouldn’t have been there. Their unnecessary and unwarranted presence caused death. That’s sort of why people hate cops.

  5. On June 28, 2017 at 11:18 pm, Talktome said:

    Dirk, if I did the same thing, with intent to prevent additional victims, what do you think my personal outcome would be? I bet I am better trained than you as well, but it wouldn’t matter. Would a DA just chalk it up to a horrible accident and not prosecute? Puh lease. Why should our trained leo’s get a pass when they royally f things up? If you don’t know what is beyond your target, aka what is between you and the backstop, when pulling the trigger, you shouldn’t be pulling the trigger. Why do cops think they deserve a pass when they kill people in the course of doing idiotic things? I don’t care how tough you think your job is. You and your bosses have made it infinitely more difficult by your blatant disregard for morality and liberty of the citizens you purport to protect. There are bad people who need to be dealt with, no doubt, but most of your encounters are with innocent, or violators of some bs law that has no victim. Cops in my town waste their time charging brothers in the ‘hood with pom1, just to rack up convictions so that they eventually qualify for prison time just for having shake in the floor of their car. Violent felons don’t rate much attention. Upper class thieves who steal MILLIONS, get plea deals and early release. So, forgive our pessimistic view of your chosen profession when we clearly see you going after the easy, dare I say, profitable targets, whilst ignoring the real problems you could instead be taking care of. Out.

  6. On June 29, 2017 at 1:47 am, DAN III said:

    ALCON,

    Dirk Williams….is just another apologist for the badged thugs. Hell, he was one.

    There are no good cops.

  7. On June 29, 2017 at 1:10 pm, Jack Crabb said:

    A magic blue costume does not give one extra rights. Dirk is correct about one thing – the magic blue costumed ones: “We shop wher everybody else shops, we eat in the same places, partake in sporting events together…’

    It’s high time to shun the magic blue costumed ones and their families. Don’t sell them things. Don’t feed them in your restaurant. Turn your back when you see them.

    Maybe – although I highly doubt it – true peace officers can emerge from this shunning. As Dr. Robert Higgs says, “There is no such thing as a good cop.” (Google it, Dirk. You might learn something.)

  8. On June 30, 2017 at 3:32 pm, Pat Hines said:

    Most know that K9 drug dogs alert on command by their handlers. Defense attorneys know this to be true.

  9. On July 2, 2017 at 7:57 pm, Dirk Williams said:

    Boys took me a few days to get back to this. Capt, I detect a bit of deflection in your reply. No worries, I asked you to tell me how it should have been handled, and you did.

    Capt, your nieve. Your letting emotion, and personal opinion lead you, your making an uninformed opinion run you. The others are hates, I’ve read their posts elsewhere, no worries I to am not pleased with how shits happening.

    In my 25 year career, I’ve met meany men like those commenting. There are a lot of reasons, some reasonable, I’m fine with those opinions, Likely they got spanked by some popo, and are butt hurt. Again I’m fine with that.

    We agree on one thing, this should have never happened. For what it’s worth, I was a certified pit bull expert in court. I’ve been to several schools on specifically pit bulls. They are nothing but killers.

    A loud music call in LA, is a much different call the a loud music call in smaller communities.

    Neither of us knows the details of this case, that a pit appeared, and charges, changes everything. I mentioned your nieve, caps stun, taser, really? Your watching to much tv.
    Are you aware of the crushing power of a pit bulls jaws, they bite, hang on and wrestle people to he ground. Once on the ground the pit will release and go for the neck.

    You ever seen anybody badly bitten by a pit?, I have, many. I once took a child to the hospital with her face ripped off, I didn’t have time to await for EMS, the pits teeth nicked a vessel in her neck, she was bleeding out.

    By the grace of God, she lived. She’s had many operations on her face, what once was a cute little girl is now hideously disfigured. Capt, that should not have happened either, or I guess your ok with it cuz, well God and stuff.

    I’m new to this blog reading, although I’m retired I try hard to remain informed. When I see a blog written about right/wrong from an article from MSM, I have to question the validity of the content.

    You do make some good points, your conclusion is good as well. What’s lacking is supporting data, or personal experience. By the way the law does authorize a policeman to dispatch an attacking animal. In fact they have a duty to protect.

    This one just sucks badly.

    This nation would have shredded itself without rules and laws.

    You want change, then contact your elected officials, who make the rules, and demand accountability for bad cops. Demand a different group of people investigate police shootings, demand public oversite in monitoring Law Enforcements actions.

    Dirk.

    Gods law,

  10. On July 2, 2017 at 10:09 pm, Blake said:

    Dirk I don’t think you know jack squat about dogs.

    There are certain breeds that are dangerous (because they are one person dogs and are/or very protective of the family) and there are individual dogs that are dangerous but to claim Pit Bulls are nothing but killers is a ridiculous assertion.

    I’ve known plenty of people who owned Pit Bulls and those dogs were some of the goofiest most playful creatures I’ve ever seen. Also ran into a Pit Bull that had been used as a bait dog. Dog was scarred and missing part of an ear but the family that had taken it in had taken good care of the dog and the dog was incredibly friendly, even after being used as a bait dog.

    As for the little girl, well, guess what? Other dogs have torn up little kids and not just Pit Bulls. These kinds of things have happened since dogs were domesticated and to single out one breed is ludicrous.

    You are blinded by your prejudice and it sounds like all your classes merely confirmed your bias.

    I remember when Dobermans were the feared dog and everyone just knew! how dangerous they were. The dangerous dog of today is the Pit Bull and everyone just knows! how dangerous they are.

    In another 20 years, it will be another breed of dog.

    So, spare me your sanctimonious “I know better because I’ve been there and taken the classes” bs.

  11. On July 2, 2017 at 10:44 pm, Herschel Smith said:

    I think what you’ll find Dirk is that I didn’t deflect at all, and nothing I said was emotional. Go back and re-read the response. It’s all based on policy positions.

    So let’s restate to make the point. If a man wants to own a dragon to effect self defense, as long as that dragon isn’t a danger to the neighborhood, he has that right. He is under no obligation, moral or legal, to make your job easier or even doable. You have no intrinsic right to be on his property.

    Maybe that cleared this all up.

  12. On July 3, 2017 at 9:41 am, Dirk said:

    Guess I stepped in a pile of shit. Objectivity is moot, when you guys have all the answers. I achieved my goals here. Best to you all.

    Capt, keep up the good work.

    Dirk

  13. On July 3, 2017 at 11:53 am, Jack Crabb said:

    Dirk achieved his goals here.

    Did the former magic blue costumed one just admit to being a troll?

    Or is he merely logic-impaired and/or have a lack of reading comprehension?

    As far as I’m concerned, good riddance, Dirk.

  14. On July 3, 2017 at 2:03 pm, Dirk said:

    Whoa their sparky, I’m not going anywhere. I enjoy playing on your field. Not one to cut and run. We may not agree on everything, however you would be surprised on how much I DO agree with.

    Law enforcement is over the top, needs to be reeled in and, solid oversite placed firmly.

    Happy Independence Day to you all, and thank you for your service.

    Dirk Williams, aka ” former magic blue uniformed,”one. Actually I wore tan and OD green.

  15. On July 3, 2017 at 10:40 pm, Blake said:

    Dirk,

    Same to you sir, have a great fourth.

    Regards,

    Blake (yeah, real name)

  16. On July 5, 2017 at 11:06 am, Longbow said:

    “…I was a certified pit bull expert in court. I’ve been to several schools on specifically pit bulls.”

    Dirk, This is exactly why people don’t want to hear you (any cop). Stop stroking yourself.

    Paraphrasing, “I have special cop training, which gives me special cop powers! Why, I have powers and abilities above and beyond those of mortal men!”

    I went through EMT training thirty years ago and was State certified for a time, that doesn’t make me an expert on cardiology or neuro-science. I would never testify in Court, under oath, that I was an expert.

    I went through extensive explosives/demolition training while in the U.S. Army. I would never testify in Court that I was an expert. There are too many men who work with explosives EVERY DAY for me to do that.

    I have done a bit of shooting in my life. Some competitive, most not. I have been in harms way a time or two. I have loaded ammo commercially. I have taught others long range marksmanship. I would never testify in Court that I was an expert.

    I was trained as a Scout Swimmer and Combat Diver and did that job for several years. I would never testify in Court that I was an expert in anything having to do with Diving or aquatic ops.

    I was a soldier for many of my years as a young man. I did a lot if silly extreme stuff. Have you ever run a marathon with a sixty pound rucksack on your back? Have you ever stayed awake and starved yourself for weeks at a time? The thing is, I would NEVER have gone home and sniveled and complained about how hard my job was. I have never bitched and whined about how under appreciated I was. I never once said I was underpaid. In fact, I was thrilled the Army would pay me to do the things I did.

    If I asked you (any cop) why you became a cop, you might say, “Because I wanted to help people…”

    And I would reply, “Bullshit!”

    You (any cop) wanted to chase bad guys, play cops and robbers for real, carry a gun every day, have the power/authority to order other people perform at your will.

    The thing is, it has never occurred to me to WANT to go around controlling other people. The idea of cruising around town looking for people to fuck with is completely alien to me.

    You don’t see the fire department cruising up and down the streets in their trucks looking for people to fuck with do you? “Hey, look, joe!. There’s a pile of trash stacked against that guy’s house. Thats a violation of the fire code. Let’s go fuck with him! We’ll write him up and see what else we can get him on. He’s probably a POS anyway… and if he resists, we’ll give him a hickory shampoo, ha!”

    Yeah, that sounds like fun doesn’t it?

    How would you like it if every citizen encounter turns into an interrogation on you as soon as you make contact? Would YOU enjoy that?

    “Officer friendly, huh? You got any ID on you? Yes an ID. A state issued photo ID. I don’t care what costume you have on. How do I know you didn’t order that off the internet. OK, now, lets see. Whats yer current address. Yeah, I can read. Are you still at 101 Main Street? What the matter, you seem a bit agitated! Is there anything in your pockets that I need to know about? You wouldn’t mind if I patted you down would you? Just for citizen safety. You understand. Whats the matter? You got sumpthin’ to hide? You know, due to my training and experience (see above) and the totality of the circumstances, I believe you have cocaine stuck up your ass. Do you have cocaine stuck up your ass? No? How do I know that? Can you prove it? Let me ask you something else, Officer Friendly, Did you beat your wife this morning? Are you still beating your wife? No? So you’re saying you quit?

    Or, how about this? You are out on patrol minding your own business, and a citizen sees you and shouts, “He’s got a gun!” Immediately several citizens in the area draw their sidearms and point them at you while shouting commands,

    “Freeze!”

    “Get on the ground!”

    “Don’t move!”

    “Do it now!”

    They then force you to the ground, and stand on your neck until they FEEL better about the situation (and believe firmly they are right to do so). YOU might feel a little bit butt hurt (does that sound familiar?), but what is that to us? You’re just a public servant. Get over it. And consider yourself lucky you weren’t SHOT for carrying your sidearm.

    Need I go on?

    No, I have never been a cop. I have never wanted to. I have too wide a libertarian streak in me.

    Am I anti-cop? No. I am very much pro-peace officer. I AM anti-thuggery, and anti-bullying. I am anti-arogance.

    But, but, but… (you protest), the Vast Majority of cops are such good guys! They’re out there just a-protectin’ and a-servin’, just tryin’ to do the right thing while being under paid and under appreciated… shucks-by-golly.

    Again, bullshit. If the vast majority were such super-duper good guys, they would police themselves to such an extent, there would be no bad cops. Do you think Lon Horiuchi was taken back to the team-room at Quantico, given some wall to wall counseling and encouraged to find another line of work, after he MURDERED Vicky Weaver? Or was he patted on the head and told, “Don’t worry, bud, we got yer back!” No, Dudley Do-Right is NOT in the vast majority. He is in the minority and as rare to find as a four leaf clover in a briar patch.

    This is not my blog, and I have taken too much space. Food for thought.

  17. On July 6, 2017 at 11:24 am, Jack Crabb said:

    Well said, Longbow, well said.

  18. On July 12, 2017 at 11:23 am, DAN III said:

    Longbow,

    I’m late reading this. Just wanted to tell you “good job” on your remarks.

    I have NO use for cops….past or present. The country would be a better place without those who wear badges.

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