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.”