Police responded to a dispute yesterday evening at a house in Ogden where a family was having a BBQ. Police say after investigating they left the house when the dog got out.
“The cops were there and ‘Payaso’ came out of the house and he doesn’t bite or bark or anything so he just ran up to them happily and all I seen was the cop punch him and he fell on his back, and then I heard a shot, then I seen a taser and then I heard two more shots,” said Hope Martinez.
Police say the red nosed pitbull lunged at one of the officers pinning him against a telephone pole. At which point a second officer fired upon the dog. Police then say the dog lunged at the second officer. Police attempted to subdue him with a taser but when they couldn’t they fired upon him one more time before he ran away.
The family of Payaso, which means ‘clown,’ in Spanish say that he was not a vicious dog and named him that because he was always happy and playful.
“He was lovable, always jumped on us, let the kids ride on him, he was so playful,” said Hope.
Anthony Martinez, the dog’s owner, says his dog just wanted to play.
“No, he did not attack, he did not bark at them, he did not growl at them, he was just a happy dog and he does that with everybody – my whole family – nieces, nephews, kids – everybody,” said Martinez.
The dog was taken by animal control and examined by a veterinarian before it was decided that he would be put down.
“it broke my heart,” said Martinez, “I had him for three years, my first pet – my first dog – and nobody will ever replace that.”
Police say that like every officer involved shooting they will be fully investigating the events that led to the shooting.
“it’s always unfortunate when these things happen, the officers don’t want to do this, but they also don’t want to get bit,” said Will Cragun, Lieutenant with the Ogden Police Department.