Leander, TX – An administrative review is underway investigating a Leander police officer who has been accused of using poor judgment during the commission of his job.
The incident in question occurred on June 17 when Leander Police showed up at the home of James and Renata Simmons.
While serving a traffic warrant to the homeowners, Woodson Blase allegedly fired a bullet into the back of a 3-year-old therapy dog, one of two German shepherds that encountered the officer on the Simmons property.
After entering by the gate at the front of the home, Officer Blase knocked on the front door. When there was no answer, he began walking around to the back of the house. That is where Officer Blase was met by the couple’s German shepherds, according to the Examiner.
The Huffington Post reports, the officer fired three bullets, wounding one of the dogs, Vinny. Blase claims the dog was growling and began to charge at him, prompting the officer to discharge his weapon.
At the time of the shooting Renata was in the house, and her husband was out back at a picnic table. The couple’s terminally ill 6-year-old grandchild was playing just around the corner.
Renata defended Vinny’s actions, saying, “The dogs always do the same thing, they're like 'hey somebody's here' and they go running up to the gate like 'hey pet me.' Well they didn't get pet this time, they got shot."
She does not believe the animal growled or attempted to attack the officer.
According to the animal’s owner – who has been a dog trainer for more than 30 years – “This dog wasn't after him [Blase]. This dog was just running up going, 'Hey what are you doing?' and they have a right to do that. This is my yard; this man should not have even been there.”
Renata statement refers to the fact that Officer Blase was serving a traffic warrant to the wrong address when he crossed paths with the dogs.
The warrant was for a man named Bradly Neal Simpson, who is wanted for an expired vehicle registration. The warrant address showed Simpson living in Cedar Park not Liberty Hill.
However, Leander police say their database shows Simpson’s last known address as the same one where the Simmons live. The Simmons’ have lived there for at least nine years and have never heard of or know Simpson.
Vinny’s owners hope Blase will be fired, but for now he remains on active duty.
Thankfully, Vinny is expected to survive. A non-profit organization called Georgetown Animal Outreach is collecting donations for his veterinary bill. A donation can be made here.
[Image via Wikicommons]