Authorities say a Lake County sheriff’s deputy has been cleared after fatally shooting an aggressive dog that charged at him at a gas station in Beach Park.
The incident happened on the morning of January 17 after a sheriff’s deputy responded to a gas station in the 38500 block of North Sheridan Road in Beach Park.
A call was made for a report of two loose dogs in the gas station parking lot.
As the deputy entered the parking lot, the person who called for help informed the deputy that the dogs were on the side of the building and they tried attacking him.
The sheriff’s deputy located the dogs walking around near the gas pumps.
The dogs were loose and there was no owner anywhere in the area, according to the sheriff’s office.
The deputy requested animal control to respond and attempted to persuade the dogs into his squad car so they did not attack anybody else.
EDITOR’S NOTE: The below footage is graphic and viewer discretion is advised.
The deputy opened the back door of his squad car and used a “calm demeanor” with the dogs while retrieving dog treats from his car.
He began tossing the treats to the dogs to reassure them he was not a threat, the sheriff’s office said.
The larger of the two dogs “aggressively lunged” toward the deputy, exposing its teeth.
The deputy backed away and threw more treats on the ground to distract the dog.
The dog initially backed away but quickly charged at the deputy again while baring its teeth.
The sheriff’s office said the deputy felt fearful that he was about to be bitten by the aggressive dog and made the decision to shoot it.
Deputies later learned the same dog attempted to attack the initial victim while he was outside emptying a trash can.
The victim threw a milk crate at the dog and was able to escape and call the sheriff’s office for assistance.
A further investigation revealed the same dog previously got loose.
The same dog about a month earlier attempted to bite an employee of the same gas station as he was doing work outside of the building, the sheriff’s office said.
The dog attempted to bite both his leg and face. The employee got away with only being bit on his beard.
“The actions of the deputy were reviewed, and his actions were deemed to be appropriate based on the circumstances,” the sheriff’s office said.
“It is important to note, using force on a person or domestic animal certainly impacts our staff tremendously. It is not something we hope or wish to do,” the department said.
The sheriff’s office asked residents to ensure their pets are secure, especially if they are aggressive toward others.
The department released bodycam footage of the incident Friday.