MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Fort Lauderdale police officers say they were forced to shoot a dog after its owner commanded the Belgian Malinois to attack them outside of a local eatery.
Police said it happened on Sunday night at around 11 p.m. at the Laspada’s Original Hoagies in the 1400 block of SE 17th Street.
Authorities said they responded to a call of a customer, identified as Stefan Pastor, 37, repeatedly refused to pay and refused to leave the business.
Pastor became argumentative and defensive, saying that he was attempting to buy a sandwich and that the employee stole his money, according to the arrest report.
Pastor then stepped outside after being asked to leave by the officers. They believed he was being compliant and as he was walking toward his vehicle, he asked officers if he could get his dog out of his car. The officers then told them that he was not allowed to do that.
As Pastor walked toward his car, police said he yelled back to officers, “I am going to let my dog go.”
That is when Pastor ignored the officers’ commands and released his dog from the backseat of this car, police said.
The dog came out of the car and officers say the Belgian Malinois began to approach them in an aggressive manner, circling them while growling.
Officers say Pastor gave his dog verbal commands while waving in the officers’ direction, despite police telling him to put his dog back into his vehicle.
That is when police say they drew their weapons, as the dog advanced toward them in an aggressive manner.
Officers say they were in fear of their lives and were forced to shoot the dog several times as the dog jumped toward one of them.
At this point, officers say, they turned their attention on Pastor who was Tased after he refused to get on the ground.
Pastor was eventually placed under arrest and he faces several charges, including assault on a police officer, resisting arrest with violence, and animal cruelty.
Fort Lauderdale police say the dog involved in this incident was removed from the scene alive by animal control and is in their custody.
The Belgian Malinois was treated for a gunshot wound, according to officials from animal control.
Pastor was taken to Broward’s main jail for processing.