Investigation: Officer who shot dog acted properly

An independent investigation into a dog-shooting incident at Zamora Park has concluded that an off-duty South San Francisco police officer acted in compliance with department policies and procedures, city officials said.

While officials said the investigation settled the controversy over the shooting, dog owner Ray Halteh vowed that it was “not over,” adding that he planned on asking the SPCA to investigate the matter on animal cruelty charges. Halteh’s dog Angel, a boxer-bull terrier mix, was shot by Sgt. Mike Remedios on Sept. 25.

Remedios shot Angel when it would not let go of his dog, Buddy, an Australian shepherd mix. Buddy was on a walk with Remedios’ wife, Shiu, when playing turned into a dog fight.

The independent investigation by San Francisco attorney Rebecca Speer will not be available to the public nor the City Council because it involves a personnel matter, but the Police Department’s report is public.

According to the police report, Halteh and Shiu punched, kicked and pulled at Angel who had Buddy in her mouth. Remedios, on his way home from work, heard the screams from the park, ran to the site and, “recognizing that Halteh and Shiu were unable to halt the dangerous confrontation between the dogs and fearing for safety of all those involved,” he returned to the car for his weapon.

Asking Halteh and Shiu to back away, Remedios fired one shot into Angel, which had “no impact on Angel’s aggressiveness,” and then two more to get the dog to release its grip on the other, according to the report. He fired a fourth to kill the dog.

In the report, Shiu said that in the minutes after the shooting, Halteh told her that he thought Remedios’ gun was a tranquilizer gun. Halteh said yesterday that Angel went down after the first shot.

In the aftermath of the incident some in the Zamora Park neighborhood became incensed at the officer’s actions, culminating in a death threat being sent to a police officer uninvolved in the actual incident.

The investigation into the death threat is still ongoing, said Police Chief Mark Raffaelli.

“The officer acted appropriately at the time, and we have to move on from that,” he said.

dsmith@examiner.com

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