Grover Beach identifies officer involved in dog attack

December 22, 2016
Alex Geiger

Alex Geiger

The Grover Beach Police Department has identified the owner of a dog that attacked two people last week, killing a 64-year-old man, as Officer Alex Geiger. He is currently on paid administrative leave while the attack is investigated.

Last week, two of the Geiger’s dogs got loose and his Belgian Malinois attacked David Fear, 64, and Betty Long, 85, in Long’s front yard. Fear died on Friday from his injuries.

Geiger has been with the Grover Beach Police Department since September. In 2012 and 2013, Geiger worked as a deputy for the Kings County Sheriff’s Department.

Geiger released the following statement on Thursday.

“I can’t begin to imagine the pain and sadness that the families of Mr. David Fear and Ms. Betty Long are going through as a result of this tragic incident,” Geiger wrote. “I know my words cannot change what happened, but I wish to express my sympathies and prayers to the Fear family during this difficult time. I am also praying for Ms. Betty Long and her family and I wish her a speedy recovery.”

In addition, the Grover Beach Police Officers Association also released a statement:

“Over the last few days, the Grover Beach Police Officers Association has been trying to process this tragic and unusual incident that occurred in our community. We are deeply saddened for the families of Ms. Betty Long and the death of Mr. David Fear and our condolences go out to everyone involved.”

Multiple agencies are investigating the attack with San Luis Obispo Animal Services taking the lead on the dog attack and the coroner heading the death investigation. The Belgian Malinois who attacked the man and woman has been euthanized.

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That’s too bad , This will effect this young officer the rest of his life , and the Family of course.. very sad..

I’m sick reading these hateful comments. It’s like the watching the bloodlust of the dogs themselves. This officer did nothing wrong. the dogs got out. of course he is legally liable. Of course he’s responsible but you people act like he was deliberate and he had a motive.

The man that died was what we know is a hero. He lost his life saving one.

this was a tragic incident.

Look at you. “Where was the officer working between 2013 and 2016?”

” this is likely not the first time the officer has been in hot water”

Are you people for real?

” Also, unbelievably there is no remorse in that statement made by the officer”

Because of this situation, one can’t just express themselves. as we see here no matter what is said, it’s going to be twisted and turned. If there was no apology, THAT would have been the entire focus. Here is a public apology and Now it says “there is no remorse’ You people need to imagine if YOUR dog got out. How you would come home and discover complete strangers wanted you locked up.

“The officer did nothing wrong.”

Keeping vicious animals is illegal.

Allowing vicious animals to run free in the neighborhood is also illegal.

Keeping a vicious animal that is allowed to roam free in the neighborhood and attack two people is a crime.

The officer did all of those. In addition, It’s going to leak out that he trained the dog. (taught it to bite people, bark, etc.) It’s also going to leak out that this particular dog flunked out of Doggie Cop Academy. (was good at biting people, but not so good at stopping and had trouble knowing when to bite and when not to.)

Except for the above, the officer did nothing wrong. This is patently obvious to anyone with a shred of objectivity.

Please, I await your rebuttal.

For one thing, I would not have a dog like this. Homeowners insurance often doesn’t cover certain dog breeds and mixes, for good reason: they have a statistical probability of biting.

There is NO remorse in this apology. Not even “I’m sorry.” There is NO acknowledgement personal responsibility. This could have been written to the family by anyone. This isn’t an apology. It’s a statement of non responsibility.

He is on paid administrative leave? Will he pay it back? Is he even going to be prosecuted? Don’t hold your breath.

Here’s what I’m sick of……….ever since 911 ‘ all ‘ cops and fireman are heros. The operative word being all. We depend on them to protect us and I appreciate the bravery and sacrifice so many of them have exhibited in the line of duty, but that does not give them the right to not be held accountable whether they are at work or off duty. They are just doing a job like the rest of us, yet they are allowed to engage in irresponsible behavior that would land the everyday civilian in jail. You know damn well if that was your dog, your face would be shown here in a mug shot, and both of your dogs would have been euthanized, not just the one. How about recklessly speeding while intoxicated and carrying a gun? Did that cop go to jail or have his car impounded? Hell no….another example of ‘ professional ‘ courtesy.

I agree with you that this is tragic and yes, this officer did not plan for this to happen. The simple fact is that he knew the potential consequences of these dogs getting out and failed to adequately have them secured. His profession dictates that he should be held to a higher standard. The double standard with regard to these recent events is really what sickens me.

I agree, justice needs served. But the GBPD don’t owe him much, other than a brief affiliation of name. In fact, if I were another officer, I would not want to be lumped together with Geiger.

We allow a right to a trial. Let’s allow things to happen before we start raising hell.

One thing that should NOT happen though is a taxpayer funded vacation for Officer Geiger. If nothing else make him still go to work and just sit there, a paid vacation should not be a reward for him.

It is difficult to read the alleged “I’m so sorry,” statement written by the lawyer for the policeman. Apparently Grover Beach needed to do a bit more due diligence in hiring this individual from Kern County Sherrif’s office. As another person wrote in the other article, this is likely not the first time the officer has been in hot water. Where was the officer working between 2013 and 2016?

The sad thing is a man needlessly lost his life and I cannot imagine the horror Ms. Betty Long will experience the rest of her days.

Please get the investigation over. And jail this individual until the trial. It is truly an open and shut case. The dog that killed and injured was NOT where he was supposed to be. And, it needs to be repeated, these dogs are weapons. Also, unbelievably there is no remorse in that statement made by the officer.

Prayers for the families in this tragedy.

The police dept would not release his name initially because it was a personnel issue, even though he was not on duty, and the animal was not a police dog.

So what has changed that the dept released his name now? Could it be they could no longer carry the thin blue line?

I appreciate what the police do for our community’s and covering this guy butt did not sit well with me. His dog mauled someone to death and seriously injured another person, his name had to come out imo.

I also think he needs to be charged with manslaughter, and if this dog did receive any protection training then he should be charged with manslaughter with gross negligence.

His apology seemed contrived by an attorney and he better get a good one. I just wonder how long it will take the DA to investigate and file charges or will the thin blue line prevail?

I hope to see justice for the Fear and Long families because this was avoidable and should never have happened. I hope Jim Murphy is the attorney for the families, he will do a great job with the civil lawsuit not that that will bring Mr. Fear back among the living or ease the anguish Ms. Long has to live with.

What a unfortunate tragedy, luckily he has the Police Association looking out for his interests:(

Civil Code section 3342( a) provides: “The owner of any dog is liable for the damages suffered by any person who is bitten by the dog while in a public place or lawfully in a private place, including the property of the owner of the dog, regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owner’s knowledge of such viciousness. A person is lawfully upon the private property of such owner within the meaning of this section when he is on such property in the performance of any duty imposed upon him by the laws of this state or by the laws or postal regulations of the United States, or when he is on such property upon the invitation, express or implied, of the owner.”

You omitted the last part of the civil code……’ unless such owner is member of law enforcement.’