At 11:09am yesterday a Knoxville Police Officer responded to a report of a man walking with a dog in traffic on Lincoln Street near the intersection of highway 92. According to Knoxville Police Chief Dan Losada the officer approached the man and was attacked by the dog. At that time the officer was forced to shoot the dog, killing it. The officer was not injured, and no charges have been filed.
Chief Losada says “officers are authorized to protect themselves from any threat. In this case the threat came from a medium size, mixed breed dog”. He says while there are other options, such as the use of a Taser, that is not usually an effective choice in this type of situation. He says an attacking dog is often too small and usually moving too fast to make an accurate shot with a Taser. Plus, Losada notes that a Taser is a single shot weapon so if the officer misses, they may not have time to draw another weapon to defend themselves.
Losada says this is not the first time the Knoxville Police Department has had contact with this man and his dog and despite initial reports, to his knowledge the man is not homeless. He says today’s incident stemmed from a complaint stating that he was in the travel portion of the road and creating a safety concern.
The Marion County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the incident. KNIA/KRLS news will bring you more information as it becomes official.