Was the dog that killed a Grover Beach man trained to attack?

December 23, 2016
Kings County Deputy Sheriff Alex Geiger and "Boss" with a demonstration at Hidden Valley Park in Hanford, California in 2013.

Former Kings County Deputy Sheriff Alex Geiger and “Boss” with a demonstration at Hidden Valley Park in Hanford, Calif. in 2013. Reprinted with permission from the Hanford Sentinel.

By KAREN VELIE

Update: Kings County Sheriff’s Department officials said the dog who attacked two people in Grover Beach was not trained by or a K-9 officer for their department.

Original: The Grover Beach police officer whose dog attacked and killed a 64-year-old man worked with police dogs in Kings County. However, officials are not disclosing if the dog that attacked two people in Grover Beach was trained as a canine officer.

Last week, Grover Beach Police Officer Alex Geiger’s dog attacked Betty Long, 85, in her front yard. Long’s neighbor, David Fear, went to assist the woman and the officer’s Belgian Malinois turned his aggression on the man now being called a hero.

David Fear and his wife Terry Fear

David Fear and his wife Terry Fear

Fear lost six pints of blood as a result of the attack. The dog bites severed two arteries in his arm, and Fear developed an infection from the bites. Fear died on Friday from his injuries.

Before going to work for the Grover Beach Police Department in September, Geiger worked as an officer with the Exeter Police Department. He also worked as a deputy with the Kings County Sheriff’s Department in 2012 and 2013.

Officials from the Kings County Sheriff’s Department said the deputy in charge of the K-9 unit is on vacation for the next two weeks, and that he would have to confirm whether or not Geiger worked in the K-9 unit.

Nevertheless, Sargent Lydia Montoya said if a K-9 officer becomes too excitable or its trainer leaves, the department will often retire the canine or have it destroyed. If the trainer is permitted to keep the dog, they must sign an agreement releasing the department from liability, Montoya said.

The Merced Police Department also has a K-9 unit, but while staff has confirmed Geiger worked for the department, officers said they are not at liberty to say whether or not he worked in the K-9 unit or if the dog was trained as a canine officer.







Loading...

25 Comments

  1. CentralcoastRN says:

    I am trying to give this officer the benefit of the doubt.

    This is a busy time of year. Three times this month, a UPS/fedex/USPS/ontrac driver type has left a package on my front porch, then left my gate a jar. I try to make it a habit to ensure my front gate is closed before letting my dogs out, but I can see how easily it could happen.

    I get that the officer needed to be responsible for his animals at all times. I am just going to wait and see if any official investigation findings are released. This whole situation is terrible to begin with, and I would feel terrible guilt if my dogs hurt someone.

    At this point, there are just too many unanswered questions to be lining up with torches and pitchforks.

    (12) 44 Total Votes - 28 up - 16 down
  2. shudacuda says:

    The officer in charge of the k9 unit in Kings co. is on vacation for two weeks and they cannot confirm officer Geiger worked in the k9 unit……….give me a break, Isn’t that him in the picture working with a dog? Maybe he’s just filling in for the regular trainer that was on vacation.

    (26) 38 Total Votes - 32 up - 6 down
  3. jimmy_me says:

    I’m always looking for a better deal on property insurance, so I call an insurance company. I expected them to ask me if I owned a dog, but they asked me if I owned a pet. It came out that I owned a cat; they actually asked me if the cat has ever bitten anyone. The point here: the dog’s owner was renting a house; I would guess the owner has already retained a lawyer as I see the blame flying wildly in many directions (but still seems to be missing the dog’s owner). After all, who did the fence belong to?

    (15) 19 Total Votes - 17 up - 2 down
    • Ben Daho says:

      I’ve been attacked by a cat that scratched my face and scratched my daughters face at different times. I’ve been bitten by multiple dogs. The cat was the ONLY cat and was inside a house., the dogs came stalking

      (1) 11 Total Votes - 6 up - 5 down
  4. DocT says:

    Here are the objective facts:

    1. Dog(s) was trained to bite people
    2. Dog(s) was roaming loose in the neighborhood
    3. Dog(s) trespassed onto a woman’s property and aggressively attacked her with deadly force.
    4. Neighbor intervened and saved the woman’s life and was mortally wounded in the attempt. The woman who was attacked on her property was also gravely injured but may possibly recover with permanent injuries, physical and emotional.

    As I’m sure will happen, this dog will be shown to be a flunkout, probably for being too aggressive or not reliable in some other way. Officer Geiger will be shown to have been the dog’s trainer. He taught the animal to bite people, knock them down, chew on vulnerable parts, and hands, etc.

    Those are the facts as we know them, or are about to know them……

    The question I want to know is will there be justice? Certainly if these dog’s belonged to a gang member, or a person who is not a law enforcement officer that person would have had to post substantial bail and would be charged with serious crimes. That goes without saying.

    But, have we lapsed so far into a police state that we will finally capitulate and agree that police are above the law and should be allowed to murder and harm those in a lower political class?

    Does anyone have the courage to make a big fuss over this?

    BTW, it’s high time to test officer Geiger’s bodily fluids to determine if he’s done anything bad lately, IE steroids, opiates, etc. That’s what would be done if he wasn’t a cop.

    (34) 58 Total Votes - 46 up - 12 down
    • Ben Daho says:

      You state “As I’m sure will happen, this dog will be shown to be a flunkout,”

      THEN say “Those are the facts as we know them, or are about to know them……”

      Please read your assumption followed by claim it’s a fact. THAT is weird

      (-2) 30 Total Votes - 14 up - 16 down
  5. Downtown Bob says:

    One isolated incident…and what you guys are advocation is that every police service dog be destroyed once it’s service is complete.

    (-13) 41 Total Votes - 14 up - 27 down
  6. ShootTheMessenger says:

    There is no way the Grover Beach police department is even remotely liable.

    (-20) 60 Total Votes - 20 up - 40 down
  7. standup says:

    Look up people vs. Knoller. SF case where dogs killed a woman. Murder conviction there. There was prior knowledge of the aggressive nature of those dogs not too dissimilar from this one. Let’s not let the shield protect this guy. He knew the issues.

    (28) 36 Total Votes - 32 up - 4 down
    • Kevin Rice says:

      Knoller differs in a huge number of ways. Are you kidding? The guy was growing dope and was a flunkie and the dog had unfenced access to areas the deceased was likely to enter and Knoller knew it.

      (-8) 26 Total Votes - 9 up - 17 down
      • standup says:

        Come on Kevin. Re-read my post. All I said was, “There was prior knowledge of the aggressive nature of those dogs not to dissimilar from this one”. Case #1 known aggressive dog kills man. Case #2 known aggressive dog kills woman. I just pointed out another case where a person was charged for murder (and convicted) because an aggressive dog under their care killed someone. I feel very badly for the guy who saved the woman only to die from the dog attack. We cannot let the officer walk away without any civil AND criminal liability here. He of all people should have know better. Sorry does not cut it.

        (15) 19 Total Votes - 17 up - 2 down
  8. TacomaRose says:

    It would seem to me that if a law enforcement agency sanctions the use and training of an attack dog then they carry a certain liability from that point forward, especially if the dog has failed due to discipline issues.

    I predict that Kings County Sheriffs Office and possibly Grover Beach PD will be drug into a wrongful death and injury suit.

    For the life of me I ask why would an agency allow the dog to be turned over to someone without mandating a huge liability insurance policy?

    Attention local law agencies …. Consider updating your agency policies as related to attack dogs … the impact on the taxpayers can be enormous.

    (37) 43 Total Votes - 40 up - 3 down
    • Ben Daho says:

      How do you know there is no insurance?

      (-1) 7 Total Votes - 3 up - 4 down
      • TacomaRose says:

        Oh I would anticipate their is a standard renters or homeowners policy but I am talking about a substantial policy maintained by Kings County which indicated it required a “signed release of liability”

        I would find it very unlikely that an insurance company would attach a standard policy to a K9 that was trained as an attack dog.

        (6) 8 Total Votes - 7 up - 1 down
  9. SuperDave says:

    As I posted earlier, the Police Chief knew all about this dog, and the officer’s attempts to get Grover PD to start a K-9 unit. Top notch attorneys are going to drag Grover PD, the City, and a few others into the wrong full death, and injuries series of law suits. The fun and games attitude of the good ol’ boys club will prove very expensive indeed. Pensions and retirements are being planned at this moment. See O.J. Simpson, and his judgment proof NFL pension.

    (20) 34 Total Votes - 27 up - 7 down

Leave a Comment