Was the dog that killed a Grover Beach man trained to attack?
December 23, 2016
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.
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.