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Off-Duty Baltimore City Officer Pulls Gun on Dog at Annie's Playground

A Perry Hall resident witnessed the man threaten the dog.

A Baltimore City police detective threatened to shoot a woman's dog at Annie’s Playground on Saturday after the animal ran toward him and his family, according to police.

The officer does does not face any charges because Harford County police determined he acted lawfully. The Baltimore City Police Department is conducting an administrative review of the officer's off-duty behavior.

A Perry Hall resident who was at the park on Saturday said about 50 families were around when the incident occurred.

“He got my attention because his voice was raised and he said, 'You see this gun?' And he was pointing toward his hip where it was holstered,” said Perry Hall resident Dee Megert, 43, a witness to the incident. “Then I heard him yell, ‘I’m going to shoot that dog,’ and when I looked up … he was pointing the gun at the dog.”

Harford County Sheriff’s Office deputies arrived to the scene and spoke with the police officer, whose identity was withheld because he does not face charges.

According to a police report, a woman was walking her dog when it ran away from her and toward the detective and his wife, child, mother-in-law and his mother-in-law’s dog.

The officer then pulled his gun and warned the woman to get her dog under control or he would shoot it. When the woman caught up and grabbed the dog by the collar, the off-duty police officer holstered his gun. The police report lists the dog as a pit bull, but Megert said it was a “border collie size” mutt.

The woman told police that the gun was never pointed anywhere but at her dog. The police report states that the officer “acted within the law to protect himself and family by drawing the weapon.”

Megert, 43, was there with her 14-year-old daughter, 12-year-old son, her mom and sister, and her neighbor’s 13-year-old daughter. Her son, Jack, said he got a good look at the weapon.

“I saw a Glock. I think it was a .40 caliber. I don’t know for a fact,” he said. “It was silver and black. The rectangle on the side was silver and then the rest of the gun was black.”

Police originally said the city police officer did not remove his gun from its holster, but the police report indicates otherwise.

A spokesman for the Baltimore City Police Department said an internal investigation is being conducted.

“We were advised of the incident and that the Harford County Sheriff’s Office did an investigation. … We, in turn, opened a command investigation, which basically is an administrative review to make sure that no departmental policies and procedures were violated,” spokesman Anthony Guglielmi told Patch. “That investigation is still going on but at this point it appears that based on what the Harford County sheriff’s telling us, the officer was acting in a capacity to safeguard a family member.”

Brad Gerick March 21, 2011 at 07:02 PM
Hang tight, everyone. There is a full update coming this week. Thanks for all of your feedback.
Tom G March 21, 2011 at 07:27 PM
With a name like Waiting for real news you think a story about a LEO drawing a weapon on a dog at a public park full of children a real story then? Did he honestly think the dog would realize he had a gun and stop? There are only a few reasons a dog will run up to to you. They want to play, they want to sniff, they want to be pet or the are going to bite you. The way i see it you have less than a 25% chance of being attacked by almost any dog "running" towards you. The problem i see is the fact the LEO didn't make it know he was a cop before he drew his weapon. "The officer then pulled his gun and warned the woman to get her dog under control or he would shoot it." Suppose someone would have been near this fellow and saw him pull a weapon and attempted to subdue him? If i was at a public park with my children and someone pulled out a weapon and i happened to be close enough to do something i probably would in an attempt to prevent harm to my children. Suppose i was within reach and clobbered him with my kids baseball bat? Would i be charged with assaulting a LEO? Also if you think there is a "leash law" in Harford county you are sadly mistaken. My Yellow Lab was attacked and killed by a neighbors Pitbull and animal control told me you do not have to have your dog on a leash as long as it is under verbal command. That is the citation the owner of the pitbull received and i think it was 35 dollars. The pictures of the dog in question don't even slightly resemble a pitbull.
Emily Kimball (Editor) March 21, 2011 at 07:44 PM
Thanks Brad, I know you've been working hard on the story.
Jeff Adamson March 21, 2011 at 09:22 PM
Steve J...I wish they would let us carry at work. We definately need to.
fred4401 March 22, 2011 at 01:39 AM
Hey waiting for real news, Backing down yet. the funny thing is , There was no report at first for the bear bear case too. it did not apper until after the public got involved.
fred4401 March 22, 2011 at 01:40 AM
Thanks for the pics and vid. It makes a lot clearer picture
Sheila March 22, 2011 at 01:57 AM
Just the fact that the cop lied and said he didn't pull his gun shows that he feels he was wrong in what he did.
Dee Megert March 22, 2011 at 02:49 AM
On a completely unrelated incident; there seems to be a lot of cops on this site. I would like you to pass a message on to another cop for me. He was a Baltimore County Police that came to my front door on Dec 14, 2006 after Ofc Garner was shot. I don't know his name, I just remember the look in his eyes. He had to go into my backyard without knowing exactlyhow many people were back there with what weapons and he went in anyway to help his fellow officer who was shot and on the ground. He was without a doubt one of the bravest men I've had the chance to come in contact with. If you know who this man was, please pass along my praise and my heartfelt gratitude for his performance that day.
2daysworkingmom March 22, 2011 at 03:48 AM
Bottom line is...your dog needed to be on a leash, one that fits, not one he can "back out of" I don't care what kind of dog you have, your yelling he's friendly doesn't mean squat to me. ALL owners think thier dogs are friendly. Kids get killed by "friendly" dogs all the time. I don't think he should be carring a gun at the playground, just like you shouldn't have an unleased dog. You both were in the wronge...if you had followed the law, he wouldn't have pulled his gun.
cordstreet March 22, 2011 at 06:59 AM
Oh yeah great, Postal employees carrying. Now that's a comforting thought.....(sarcasm off)
Tom G March 22, 2011 at 08:13 AM
Nowhere in the animal control section of the Harford Co website does it say a leash is required at any time. http://www.harfordcountymd.gov/dilp/index.cfm?ID=304 My neighbor was cited for not having their pitbull "under verbal command" when it attacked my Yellow Lab who died the next day as a result of the fist sized hole in her chest.in this case if the dog stopped when the owner called its name after Robocop pulled the bazooka out then she was not violating the law. There is currently no state leash law in Maryland. Many dogs are escape artists as my Lab was able to back her way out of every contraption we tried even the escape proof harness. If the dog wants out bad enough it will get out. I would be more concerned about a over zealous LEO with the power to take a life animal or human pulling out a firearm in a public place with a hundred or more people around.
Dee Megert March 22, 2011 at 12:48 PM
Thats funny cordstreet. A little bias in there??? I am curious, what are Postal carriers allowed to do about a dog. I have a dog that would scare the bejeezus out of anyone. She doesn't go out in public as I refer to walking her on a leash as "taking me for a drag". She is skittish as heck and would run away from you if you approached her but I haven't met a soul yet who will approach her without one of her "family" present and even then I've seen HUGE grown men say, "no, I'll just wait in the car". I get it, dogs are scary, but what defense is too much, is a gun necessary? On a side note, she has been pistol whipped by a now deceased criminal and will run out of the house with her tail between her legs when she sees a gun, real or otherwise.
ashley March 22, 2011 at 04:11 PM
i completely agree with Tina!! i have a pitt rott mix and she is the friendliest dog. Any dog could instantly turn and snap just like Dee told her story about the dog that attacked her. its so sick. people are worried about a dog in a park coming towards you, when there are how many kids in that park. i can guarantee you that if i was the parents of the children id be more worried about the kids safety because of a gun not a dog. its sick that everyone is soo worried about freaking dogs these days. what about all the sex offenders that live in neighborhoods and the only thing you can do to find out is go online and thats if they even registered. or all of the gangs that start violence. i had a cop pull a taser gun out on me when he told me to get out of the passenger seat of a car after the other cop yanked my boyfriend out for no reason. oh and i was also on the phone with police because i did not like how the situation was being handled so the asshole takes me phone and hangs up while im on the phone with 911 yeah reall effin smart. the world we live in today is disgusting. im so tired of people thinking they can do whatever the hell they want especially cops. lets be Bias pigs the rest of our lives and see how far this world goes. i hope this does go to the news because its sick just like the officers dog who was killed and it was a husky. oh thats right german shepherds and huskies are also "bully dogs" but thats why there are used for the police force.
ashley March 22, 2011 at 04:17 PM
and the dog does not even look like a pitt so please tell me how that was at all okay for the cop to pull the weapon out. like someone else stated postal personnel deal with dogs and dont use guns.
ashley March 22, 2011 at 04:19 PM
i completely agree with Tom. labs are so smart and just like he said if the dog wants out they will find a way out.
Della Street March 22, 2011 at 04:55 PM
This is the dog that the cop was so scared of? Seriously? LMAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
susan March 23, 2011 at 01:23 PM
I am still waiting to hear of this being reported by the local news (other than Patch)
Dee Megert March 24, 2011 at 11:51 AM
huh, look at that, another City Police Officer accused of doing something wrong is in the news again this morning. I know they aren't all bad and I know some City Police that are wonderful, but there appears to be a few bad apples. Lets get busy weeding them out.
Lori March 24, 2011 at 11:51 AM
Where's the compassion? We are so quick to judge someone. You don't have a clue what a city policeman endures, you don't have a clue who this officer is, what he or a family member may have encountered with a dog before. Where's the forgiveness? Sometimes we are put in uncomfortable situations which we must learn from and move on. The dog owner is claiming her dog was misunderstood, perceived as aggressive. You're not liking that feeling why force that same accusation on this officer. Everybody needs compassion and forgiveness. I pray many will. This world would be so better off. Lori
Dawn Donovan March 24, 2011 at 08:16 PM
A police office is never off duty.
Emily Kimball (Editor) March 26, 2011 at 01:04 AM
STORY UPDATE: Baltimore Officer Who Pulled Gun on Dog at Park Will Not be Disciplined, http://perryhall.patch.com/articles/baltimore-officer-who-pulled-gun-on-dog-at-park-will-not-be-disciplined. The off-duty Baltimore City police officer who pointed his gun at a dog and allegedly threatened to kill it at Annie’s Playground on March 12 will not be disciplined, said a spokesman for the Baltimore City Police Department.
Theresa March 28, 2011 at 02:08 AM
Waiting for real news-- get a clue, real world ordinary citizens, esp. dog owners get approached in the real world by loose dogs all the frickin' time and somehow, omg, manage to not lose their sh. and deal and survive the encounter WITHOUT a GUN. Was he within his legal rights to protect his family? Maybe, I'm sure the brotherhood will back him up . . . Was he demonstrating grace under fire ---H . . NO! First of all the fact that he was that damn scared of a dog in a park full of families many of whom, including his own brought dogs . . . . makes me think maybe he's been on the job too long--maybe he needs some R&R . . . It's great you think a guy with a gun facing down a dog is so romantic and heroic . . . Fortunately for every dog that ever slips his collar, *most* people he would encounter have the sense and strength of character not to freak out . . .
Theresa March 28, 2011 at 02:22 AM
And yet, Waiting for Real News, I'm glad you brought up Mail Carriers-- how often has a mail carrier shot a dog on duty? They are actually better trained on dealing with dogs than most cops---they carry repellent spray to protect themselves AND the main problem they face are dogs who are showing territorial aggression at their own homes . . . which is quite a different scenario than at a park. The fact that this cop is a dog owner, you would think he knows *something* about dogs and dog behavior . . . . it's so common for a loose dog to come up to other dogs to try to play, meet and greet . . . In fact, other dog owners, being dog people very often will ASSIST another dog owner in catching their loose dog in that situation--I've done it many times myself. It's true that sometimes a dog may be coming up aggressively, but if you've had a dog any amount of time, and you have such a public job where it's inevitable you'll be encountering dogs, I think it's a pretty sad statement if you can't tell the difference. Other witnesses attest to this dog's gentle calm behavior. I'd be curious to know the other witnesses' read on the officer's dog--the way he was being jerked back, etc. I'm wondering if the reason for all the panic is that his own dog is not good, or leash reactive with other dogs . . . just wonderin' what others have to say about that.
Dee Megert March 28, 2011 at 02:22 PM
My 4 pound (adorable & harmless looking) YorkiePoo is more likely to gnaw your face off then my 70 pound shepard/great dane/greyhound mix who sounds & looks ferocious, if you are on the outside of her fence. I can't believe I'm the one to bring this conversation around to "size doesn't matter". The way in which the situation was handled and the resulting alleged "cover up" are, in my opinion, the most important detail of this story.
Dee Megert March 28, 2011 at 02:40 PM
@Theresa " I'd be curious to know the other witnesses' read on the officer's dog--the way he was being jerked back, etc. I'm wondering if the reason for all the panic is that his own dog is not good, or leash reactive with other dogs . . . just wonderin' what others have to say about that." I had been at the park for about 1 hour prior to this and didn't notice Lisa's dog at all other than she was there with a dog outside of the fenced area where the actual playground equipment is. He was not barking or pulling at the time. The dog that was with the officer looked like a toy poodle and has perhaps been the victim of bullying by other dogs. That dog too seeemed in control. I yanked my puppy out of the clutches of a big meany dog on one occassion (ironically, there was a police officer walking with me on Halloween while trick or treating in the neighborhood, he stepped between the meany dog and me). The poodle didn't seem terribly distraught after the incident but I wasnt really looking at the dogs at that point. When I was leaving the park, as mentioned somewhere earlier, I approached Lisa's dog sitting alone in her vehicle and he didn't bark or strain to the windows to protect his territory. He just sat with tongue lolling and tail wagging. I believe with all of my being, it was just an over reaction on the part of the man, with a knee jerk reaction to go for his weapon. I don't want to judge the man or the dogs only the results of the incident.
Tracy Dietrich March 28, 2011 at 03:54 PM
Dee - it just so happens he is my wonderful neighbor Ms. Lil's nephew I will print this out and make sure it gets to him
Dee Megert March 29, 2011 at 01:41 PM
Thanks Tracy. I think about him daily, I remember the look in his eyes, and I talk about him often. I'm kinda surprised I've never talked about him to you before. We left the bullet hole in the wall as a constant reminder of how blessed we were that day, as the normal routine of our mornings for some reason wasn't what happened that day and I believe saved at least one life.
heather April 02, 2011 at 02:11 PM
Lisa- that is what I assumed happened when I was reading this, and I don't believe it is anywhere near your fault. Because everyone is ok (including the pup!) There is a more important battle at hand here. When this story first came out, it probably came out as another "vicious pit bull on the loose", and even if it didn't, it stated the dog was a pit bull, and is just another statistic to get it into the minds of people that pit bulls are horrible, mean, bad dogs. Everyone needs to take a look at that. Look at the statistics... BSL is a very real thing, and how do they tell if your dog is of the "pit bull" type? they pull out a dressmakers tape measure, measure his chest and his hinds legs, and if measures correctly, he is taken away to be euthanized. There have been many mistakes, that unfortunately ended in death and could obviously not be undone. I believe that it is just horrible, whenever there is a negative dog story, everyone presumes 'pitbull' i own have owned and have met the nicest dogs, all of which were pitbulls. They are the most loving, forgiving, caring animals in this world. Having a pit bull really just makes life better everyday.
Keri Cockey April 07, 2011 at 02:02 AM
like the comment "cordstreet" this "cop" sounds like a real moron, come on, pulling your gun out at a family park with kids around you have got to be s*^$ing me!!! and no it is not just because he was a cop that this is such an issue it certainly does cause alot of just concern because as a cop you would think that the last thing he would do is pull his weapon. It scares me that this ahole is charged with the duty to protect and serve the community. I agree that maybe lisa should have been more careful but accidents happen and I think she acted appropriatly
Keri Cockey April 07, 2011 at 02:14 AM
really 2daysworking mom, you just made yourself sound really stupid!!! notice the only people that have "code names" on this site are the ones backing the cop

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