COP INVESTIGATING BURGLARY REPORT KILLS DOG AT WRONG ADDRESS : WYCKOFF, N.J. (AP) — A police officer investigating a report of a home burglary mistakenly went to the wrong address and ended up killing a family’s dog.
“I was in shock,” said the dog’s owner, Igor Vukobratovic. “I couldn’t believe it. There was blood everywhere.”
Police received a report of a possible break-in on Wednesday at a home in Wyckoff, about 30 miles from New York City. But Officer Kyle Ferreira went by mistake to house No. 622 instead of No. 621, Chief Benjamin Fox said.
No one answered the front door so the patrolman went around back, entered through an unlocked fence gate and spotted an open window, Fox said. He drew his revolver and approached, and a growling German shepherd lunged out the window, bit his foot and latched on, the chief said.
The officer fired his gun four times, striking the dog twice.
“He has every right to be prepared to defend himself,” Fox told NJ.com. “Is a burglary suspect going to come out of that window? ... That dog can do a lot of physical damage to a person if the next bite is an artery.”
Ferreira wasn’t hurt, but Fox said he is “extremely distraught.” He has not been disciplined, but police continue to investigate the shooting.
MIDDLE SCHOOL STUDENT REBUKED FOR WEARING ROSARY TO CLASS: FARMINGTON, N.M. (AP) — A middle school student in northwest New Mexico says she was sent to the principal’s office and asked if she sold drugs or was involved with a gang after she wore her rosary to school.
Eighth-grader Latanyia Clah said that she and her sister began wearing their rosaries to school after receiving them as Christmas gifts. The administration at Tibbetts Middle School in Farmington said the Catholic prayer beads are inappropriate attire.
A Farmington Municipal Schools spokesman said they consulted a priest and found a prevalence of gang members using rosaries as symbols, which prompted administrators to ask students to stop visibly wearing them.
Latanyia’s mother, Delphyina Clah, says she does not see why her faith means her children are in a gang.
POLICE KILL WOMAN WHO FIRED AT THEM FROM INSIDE PATROL CAR: ATLANTA (AP) — Police officers in Atlanta fatally shot a woman who first fired at them while sitting in the back of a patrol car Thursday, authorities said.
Two officers were investigating a call about a stolen car Thursday afternoon when they saw a woman sitting inside the vehicle in a parking deck, said Major Darin Schierbaum.
He said they took the woman into custody and put her in a patrol car, and that at one point she fired at least two shots at the officers. Schierbaum said the officers returned fire, critically wounding her. She later died at a hospital, he said.
Schierbaum said it’s unclear how the woman was able to fire a gun while in the patrol car and that police are investigating whether she had been handcuffed. Her identity wasn’t released. The two officers weren’t injured, Department spokesman Greg Lyon said.
Police are looking for surveillance footage from the surrounding area, Schierbaum said. Both officers are black, as was the woman, Lyon said
SOUTH DAKOTA TOWN ROLLS THE DICE TO DECIDE NEXT MAYOR: PLATTE, S.D. (AP) — A roll of the dice has determined who will be the next mayor in the South Dakota town of Platte.
Steve Christensen became the next mayor Thursday after the town solved its too-close-to-call race with a game of chance.
Christensen and incumbent Mayor Rick Gustad split the vote in the April 14 election. An old state statute says certain elections can be determined by a high card draw or a roll of the dice.
Gustad picked dice as his game of choice. Christensen rolled a seven to become Platte’s mayor for the next two years. Gustad rolled a four.
The two also ran against one another in 2013, with Gustad winning by six votes.
MURDER CHARGE BEING DROPPED AGAINST BOY IN FATHER’S DEATH: ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — After a series of legal setbacks, prosecutors decided to drop a first-degree murder charge against a New Mexico boy who police say shot his father in the back of the head with a shotgun in 2009.
District Attorney Lemuel Martinez said his office will be filing paperwork to dismiss the charge without prejudice, meaning it could be refiled if new witnesses or evidence come to light.
“This is one of the most difficult decisions that I’ve had to make while being the district attorney,” Martinez told reporters Wednesday.
He said his office had little choice after a court ruled that testimony by the boy’s then-6-year-old sister and his statements when he called 911 were inadmissible due to a state statute that applies to anyone under 13.
Prosecutors were unsuccessful in their effort to get the New Mexico Court of Appeals to consider allowing key evidence.
Authorities have said the then-10-year-old boy put a gun to the head of 42-year-old Byron Hilburn and killed him at their Belen home. The Associated Press is not naming the boy due to his age.
At the time, the boy was one of a handful of young children in the nation’s history to face a first-degree murder charge.
Defense attorneys argued that the father was abusive to the boy and two siblings.