Officer shoots at dogs who attacked him

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

DESLOGE, Mo. -- An eastern Missouri police officer shot at two dogs after the owner of the animals commanded them to attack the officer, police said Monday. One dog was grazed by two bullets, but the wounds were not serious. The other dog was unharmed. Both were captured by animal control officers. The incident on Saturday began with a report of vandalism to a truck in Desloge, about 50 miles southwest of St. Louis. Police chief James Bullock said the officer, Brandon Scherffius, went to question a neighbor suspected of the vandalism. The woman at the home became belligerent and verbally abusive, and Scherffius began to make an arrest, Bullock said. The woman allegedly broke free, ripped a screen door from its hinges, and commanded two dogs to attack the officer.

The dogs -- one or both of them German shepherds, Bullock said -- chased the officer. Trapped inside a fence, he pulled out his revolver and shot at them.

"We are not just talking about dogs here," Bullock said. "We are talking about trained attack dogs."

Police will seek charges of assault against the woman.

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