BROOMFIELD — Police shot and killed a dog Friday morning after the Staffordshire terrier attacked two people — including a police sergeant — who were trying to help its elderly owner who had collapsed in the street.

The unidentified 83-year-old man was walking the dog, which police had initially identified as a pit bull, in the 1900 block of Dover Street when he collapsed around 9:35 a.m.

A Dover Street resident saw the man collapse and called 911. She then ran out to help him, but was bitten on the forearm by the dog, Broomfield police Sgt. Steve Griebel said.

When police arrived, an unidentified sergeant also tried to help the man. The man told the sergeant to take his dog by the leash, and when the sergeant did that, he also was attacked by the dog, Griebel said.

The dog bit the sergeant on the leg and would not let go, Griebel said, so the sergeant shot the dog.

The dog let go of the sergeant's leg and briefly ran away before launching another attack. The sergeant fired at the dog again, killing it, Griebel said.

The sergeant and the woman who were bitten, along with the dog owner who collapsed, were taken to a nearby hospital.

The police sergeant and the woman sustained non-life threatening injuries. The condition of the man who collapsed is not known.

Police declined to identify any of the parties involved.

Police Chief Tom Deland, who was on the scene near Dover and 136th Avenue on Friday morning, said an internal investigation will be conducted into the incident, which is standard procedure when an officer discharges his weapon.


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It is not yet know whether the dog had a history of aggression, though Staffordshire terriers are considered similar to pit bulls.

Broomfield does not have any breed-specific bans.

A neighbor, who requested her name not be published, said the owner often walked his dog in that area, and that the dog typically wore a muzzle. She said the dog was unmuzzled on Friday, however.

The neighbor said she witnessed the entire event unfold, and described the police as "very brutal."

"There was a person that needed assistance immediately, on the ground, and there was a dog protecting him," she said. "And there was nothing done to use anything but lethal force. The dog didn't have a chance and the man needed help.

"They didn't do anything to subdue the dog," she added. "There's a long list of things they could do before anything lethal ... The police aren't bad people, but that was very brutal."

She said officers explained to her that caring for the collapsed man was their priority and that they had tried to work around the dog, but it was too protective.

Griebel said the sergeant elected not to use a Taser on the dog out of fear he would shock himself, since the dog was attached to him.

He added that had the sergeant fired a Taser, that could have caused the dog to bite down harder.

"(The witness) is probably right, that it wasn't very pretty," Griebel said. "It's not something we like to do, but we had to protect the man who'd collapsed, the lady who'd been bit and the officer who'd been bit.

"It was a last resort."

Within the last year, the police department has implemented aggressive animal training to better help officers, sergeants and other employees to interact with animals who show aggressive behavior, Griebel said.

Police are trained to handle aggressive animals by using techniques such as finding the pet's owner, distracting the pets with treats or potentially firing a Taser at aggressive animals who are attacking someone.

Contact Enterprise Staff Writer Megan Quinn at 303-410-2649 or quinnm@broomfieldenterprise.com.