Police shoot dog while trying to arrest its owner

Casey Grove

An Anchorage police officer shot an aggressive dog Friday night while trying to arrest its owner at his Sand Lake home, a police spokesman said.

The dog, a pit bull named Blue, was later euthanized, police spokesman Lt. Dave Parker said.

A woman called police dispatchers about 6:20 p.m. saying Lydell Butler, 22, had sent her a text message, violating a domestic violence restraining order she'd filed against him, Parker said. Two officers drove to Butler's home in the 7300 block of Bearfoot Circle when they learned he had warrants for his arrest on outstanding burglary, assault and criminal mischief charges, the police spokesman said.

"They identified him, they talked to him. He'd tell them that he was coming out, but he wouldn't come out," Parker said. "Ultimately, he released the pit bull out the back door, and he said, 'Here, have my dog.' "

An officer closest to the door was worried about the brown pit bull biting her, and another officer moved in to help, Parker said. That officer put out his hand for the dog to smell, but it snapped at him, Parker said.

"It lunged at the officer with its mouth open and attempted to bite the officer two times before the officer decided to shoot the dog, to avoid injury to himself and his fellow officer," Parker said. "The dog was located, bleeding heavily on a neighbor's porch. The officers took it immediately to Pet Emergency, and it had to be euthanized."

Two other officers talked Butler out of the home about 7:30 p.m. and arrested him for the warrants and on additional charges of assault, resisting arrest and violating a domestic violence restraining order. His bail was set at $5,000 cash.

As is normal with any officer firing a weapon in the line of duty, the name of the officer who shot the dog will be released three days after the incident, Parker said.

Reach Casey Grove at casey.grove@adn.com or 257-4589.