One evening in September of 1965, two police officers went to the home of a 50-year old man to investigate on a dog-bite complaint by one of his neighbors. According to the neighbor, the man kept German Shepard dogs in his property and one of those dogs bit him. As a result of that dog attack, he sustained personal injuries.
That incident would have been repeated to the police officers when, during the search, the dog owner refused to come out and talk to the officers and instead threatened to shoot them with his shotgun and have them bitten by his two German Shepard dogs. The dog owner unleashed his dogs around midnight, prompting the officers to call for assistance. After midnight, the dog owner was arrested and charged with assault.
The dog owner denied liability on the dog-bite complaint and contended that his arrest was unlawful. The dog owner asserted that brandishing his shotgun and threatening to blow off the police officers’ heads did not constitute a crime. Instead, he argued, he was just protecting his property from invasion of trespassers.
There was no reason for the dog owner to feel threatened by the presence of the policemen because the police officers only came to investigate on the dog-bite complaint. Entry for the purpose of administrative correction of a hazard immediately dangerous to health and public safety is constitutional. It is the duty of the police to prevent crime or injury, if they can, and prompt inquiry into suspicious or unusual occurrences is indispensable. This duty extends to circumstances like a dog-bite complaint.
In this case, the dog owner’s neighbor complained to the police that he was attacked and bitten by one of the dogs. Maintenance of a vicious dog might tend to disrupt public health and safety. The police then may rightfully enter upon the private property of another to investigate a potential hazard to the public health and safety even though no crime was committed.
Testimony pointed out that the officers were on the dog owner’s property at 7:30 p.m. According to the testimony, the dog owner pointed a shotgun at him and threatened to blow his head off. The officers had authority to arrest the dog owner shortly before midnight for the crime of assault.
When the officers were outside the dog owner’s house to investigate on the dog-bite complaint, the officers did not arrest him nor attempted to arrest him. When the dog owner pointed the shotgun and threatened the police officers with grave physical harm, he was committing an unwarranted assault against those police officers.
A simple search investigation should not turn bloody because of a dog bite. Being involved in a case of personal injuries as a result of the attack of a dog belonging to someone else is difficult. To make sure you do not lose your rights, there are New York Dog Bite Injury Attorneys who will stand by you and help see you through your case. They can argue your side and make sure that you and your loved ones are compensated.
Stephen Bilkis & Associates with its New York Personal Injury Lawyers has offices located throughout the New York Metropolitan area, including Corona, NY. Our Attorneys can provide you with advice to guide you through situations where an injury resulted because of another’s negligence. Without our Attorneys, you may lose your rights and spend a significant amount of money along the way.
In addition to Injury Law, Stephen Bilkis and Associates will recommend New York Dog Bite Lawyers who will help you.