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Minneapolis police officer shoots and kills man's dog and blames it on car thief

Lyczkowski and Tito; rest in peace Tito.
Josh Lyczkowski via the Star Tribune

Paul Trott is both devastated and angry about the death of his beloved Cane Corso after the dog was shot and killed by a Minneapolis police officer who stated the dog lunged at him reported the

The Minneapolis police were in the area of the 3900 block of Aldrich Avenue North on July 18, when Trott opened the back door of his home to let his two Cane Corso dogs out into their fenced yard to relieve themselves. At that very moment as the dogs ran out, Trott noticed the back gate had been broken, and the dogs leaped out into the alley. Trott's partner, Josh Lyczkowski ran out to retrieve the dogs, and within moments shouts could be heard echoing through the alley crying out, "No! Don't! Stop!" but the words were too late.

A police officer stood there with his gun drawn and the 120 pound Cane Corso named Tito was dead. The officer said the dog lunged at him.

Trott and Lyczkowski said Tito was known to be extremely friendly, and he probably just wanted to greet the officer and say hello.

On Tuesday, the Minneapolis Police Department issued a statement calling the death of Tito "sad and unfortunate" citing in part the following:

"State statute 609.066 authorizes the use of deadly force by a police officer when necessary to protect the officer from great bodily harm or death. In this case, according to a police report filed in the incident, the dogs 'ran at the officer and would not stop.' "

Shortly after Tito's death, Trott discovered the police had been in their area because of a reported car theft. The suspect had broken the gate to their home trying to elude authorities who had been pursuing him. The officers blamed the suspect for Tito's death.

"How about some training for these cops to figure out when a dog is just being friendly instead of just pulling out their guns and shooting?," questions Barbara Schultz of Colorado, a dog trainer and self defense teacher. "This shooting of family pets has gotten so out of control that no dog is safe while these trigger happy cops are around drawing their guns and haven't the slightest clue what constitutes an aggressive dog or how to tell a friendly dog apparently like this animal. In Colorado, police are receiving training after so many senseless pet deaths on how to handle different situations involving dogs without needing to shoot and kill them."

Fortunately, the other Cane Corso, Vita ran back home and was safe.

Rest in peace Tito.

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