Dog that killed Grover Beach man was police K-9

January 5, 2017
Kings County Deputy Sheriff Alex Geiger and "Boss" with a demonstration at Hidden Valley Park in Hanford, California in 2013.

Kings County Deputy Sheriff Alex Geiger and “Boss” with a demonstration at Hidden Valley Park in Hanford, California in 2013.

The dog that attacked and killed a 64-year-old Grover Beach man was an Exeter Police Department K-9. Grover Beach Police Officer Alex Geiger was the dog’s handler during his time with the Central Valley police department.

Geiger left Exeter to join the Grover Beach force in September. That month, Geiger purchased the Belgian Malinois named Neo from the city of Exeter for $5,287.50. Geiger brought Neo to Grover Beach as his personal pet.

On Dec. 13, Neo attacked Betty Long, 85, in front of her Grover Beach yard. Long’s neighbor, David Fear, went to assist the woman, and the Belgian Malinois turned his aggression on the Grover Beach man.

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 in the hospital four days after the attack.

Long suffered a broken pelvis and broken shoulder. She is still in a rehab facility.

The Exeter Police Department said in a news release that Neo was trained and certified in narcotics detection and all areas of patrol operations.

Sources from within the department told CalCoastNews Neo had some training and behavioral issues. Despite being trained as a police K-9, the dog was never utilized in response to a call.

Geiger, 25, only served on the Exeter force for one year before joining the K-9 unit. Most law enforcement agencies require officers to work for seven years before joining the K-9 unit. Geiger previously worked as a Kings County Sheriff’s deputy in 2012 and 2013.

The Grover Beach Police Department hired Geiger as a standard police officer. Grover Beach does not have a police K-9 program.

Following the attack, Geiger turned over Neo to San Luis Obispo County Animal Services, which euthanized the dog. Animal Services completed its investigation into the incident late last month and submitted the case to the SLO County District Attorney’s Office. Prosecutors have yet to announce whether they will file charges.

Geiger is on paid administrative leave from his Grover Beach job.


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Gordo

Kayaknut


This Thread was getting off track because of comments from one of the other commentators regarding officers and a double standard. The other commentator was equating immunities written into the law for police officers to protect them during the course and scope of their employment vs the double standard that can exist when officers are accused of off-duty misconduct.

Murder in every instance is obviously wrong and so is not securing properly a trained canine which gets out and injures or kills somebody. Everyone following this story needs to watch closely with the DA’s office does with the officer who’s personal dog caused the injuries and the death reported in this story.


kayaknut

Agreed, but the DA has been nowhere to be found on several local issues in the last year, so naturally we are skeptical when told to wait for the DA. Plus all this time Officer Geiger gets to sit around on a taxpayer funded extended vacation. If the Grover Beach police departments is saying this has nothing to do with them since the dog was not one of theirs, then end his vacation, make him come into the office if nothing else to sit at a desk and wait for the DA.


DocT

For the sake of discussion, pretend that Michael Vick owned Neo, trained the dog to knock people down and chew their hands, etc.


Dog gets out…injures one neighbor and kills another…..


Let him keep playing football until the DA charges him.


WTF? That sounds whacky, doesn’t it? Can you imagine?


Why should it be any different for a cop? Someone is dead. Someone else is seriously injured and will never be the same. An off duty police K9 officer is responsible. Why isn’t the person who trained the dog charged with several crimes?


DocT

Gordo…..you can’t be serious!?


“….equating immunities written into law for police officers to protect them during the course and scope of their employment….”


Why the hell should they—or anyone else—have general immunity?


Do doctors enjoy general immunity from crimes they might commit? no…..


Can auto mechanics lie to their customers and shoot their pets and enjoy general immunity and not be prosecuted? No…..


What about truck drivers? If they break the law during the course of their employment do they enjoy general immunity? No…..


What about a person who works at a paint store. If their dog gets out and kills a neighbor do they enjoy special treatment, paid time off at the taxpayers expense? No…..


If you or me partner up with a young woman and decide to pimp her out for money, do we enjoy general immunity from doing so? No…..but in all cases listed above cops do.


General immunity is not “protection” for cops. It is a scourge and threat to us serfs, who suffer at the hands of cops. Cops who commit crimes, whether on or off duty, should be held to the exact same standards as we mundane serfs.


Why in the world should they be above the law? What possible justification could there possibly be for police to commit crime? If their job “requires” them to commit criminal acts then there’s something very wrong with the job description.


Cops should be subject to the same laws they enforce on us. In fact, they should be held to a higher standard! Giving them Cart Blanche to break laws in order that they might entrap us or assault us WRONG.


You don’t seem to understand that for some reason. Perhaps if it was YOU who got your hands chewed off by the dog, or if a cop shot your dog for no reason you might see the obvious double standard here.


Police are a scourge on society anymore. Long gone are the days when they were “Peace Officers.” Now, they are nothing more than militarized enforcers.


Do you enjoy enforcing things on people?


Gordo

For the record 135 police officers were killed in the line of duty in 2016. Of those 64 were killed by gunfire, higher than in previous years.


kayaknut

There were over 780 homicides in Chicago alone last year, murders of non-police officers, not sure what your point is. Maybe murder is wrong no matter what, yes and LEO’s thinking they are above the law is wrong too.


Gordo

Mkaney:


The fatality statistics you cite miss the point entirely.


The other jobs you mentioned involved someone dying as the result of an accident. I have never heard of a ling cod jumping up and murdering a fisherman while he was pulling in his catch from the sea. Likewise trees to not fall and shingles do not give way as an act of revenge upon the logger or roofer.

I don’t deny the dangers of those occupations, but the deaths and injuries result from accidents. The police officer murdered by a criminal wasn’t killed while he was out “harvesting”. They occur because the officer was trying to protect people and the murderer didn’t want to be apprehended.


I know as the world’s foremost authority you will opine further on this subject, but we all need to keep focused on this story and keep pressure on the DA to hold the irresponsible dog owner accountable. Covil attorneys will hold the owner and probably Exeter PD accountable as well, at least I hope so for the families of the victims.


standup

Thumbs down from some folks? If either of those victims were my folks, I would probably be judge and jury to the irresponsible scum bag dog owner if the DA sided with the Leo. Get your crap together DA and charge the cop or be prepared to get the wrath of the citizens. We deserve better.


kayaknut

“if the DA sided with the Leo”?, since Officer Alex Geiger is currently on a an almost month log taxpayer paid vacation, with no end in sight, doesn’t have to even just go into the office, with still no word from our supposedly “stop the good ole boys club” DA Dan Dow, it’s clear Dow has sided with the “special class”, so much for Dow not being part of the good ole boys network. It seems the only thing Dow is doing to trying to figure out how to publicly “slap” Officer Geiger on the wrist with no real consequences and yet seem like he really supports us little people.


CentralcoastRN

We still don’t know the details of this event, but rumor has it that Alex Geiger was not in town of the incident. A relative of the deceased has publicly said this, and also says that the main attacking dog charged from “out of nowhere”, knocking the woman to the ground. The other dog was apparently nearby but not participating. The other male victim came to her aid, and he was prying the dog off the woman. I don’t know this obviously as fact, but this was posted on social media as the victim’s family’s side of the story.


The average adult human has about 8 pints of blood. To lose 6 shows how vicious this attack was.


I have held my judgment, and I still do to a point. I am waiting for the DA to do the right thing by the families.


If the officer was a citizen and not on duty while this happened, then he should be treated as any other citizen would be. What has SLO County historically done when a citizen’s dog mauls to death a 65 year old upstanding resident who was protecting an 85 year old woman? Grover Beach PD keeps saying this K-9 was not an officer, and it was Geiger’s “personal” dog, so they MUST lead by example in the handling of animals. Otherwise, if my dog bites someone, how can I possibly be expected to have more control over my pets than a fully trained K-9 officer?


This situation seems pretty clear to me- if negligence has been shown, then the public GB resident who just so HAPPENS to be an officer must face the same rules and consequences as any other GB resident.


pasoparent5

Who’s paying for Betty Long’s mounting medical expenses? Who paid for the heroic David Fear’s hospital stay and funeral costs? Is Alex Geiger responsible for anything??


Anyone know if Geiger can at least be held accountable in a civil court so the Long and Fear families can get some $$ compensation?


***And shame on you, Dan Dow!!***


I voted for you MOSTLY because I was sick of reading about the pervasive “good ol’ boy network” of SLO government staff/LEO’s/elected officials.

I thought you’d be different. Boy, was I wrong.


If Grover Beach PD officer Alex Geiger had been a Hispanic/black/Asian/whatever non-cop–like a gangbanger, pot grower, plumber, whatever else!- charges would’ve been filed already!


CentralcoastRN

Alex Geiger’s renters insurance if he has it and he rents. Homeowner’s insurance should cover the costs if he is a homeowner.


SLO County Victim Witness program is usually contacted by police in cases like this so they can step in to assist the victim’s families.


I’m worried about both victim’s families and if rent/bills can be paid.


surferdude

The police officer is in his 20s and rents!


1965buick

Maybe PD across the US will re-think selling dogs that have no place in a community after this incident. Why would they be so naïve? That’s a problem waiting to happen. Stupid.


DocT

What’s wrong with training a dog to knock people down, bite them in the groin and chew their hands off? It depends on who is doing the training. If you’re a serf and you train a dog to do that, you’ll go to jail.


But if you listen to the cops, we need MORE of these dogs out on patrol. Cops need animals that can knock someone down, bite them in the groin and chew their hands off. Why?


Because you and me are scum in their eyes.


Neo was a good dog. He passed his tests and was certified. Just because he got out and killed a neighbor and gravely injured another shouldn’t be a problem. Look at all the good he must have done! He might have bitten a kid who had marijuana. That’s a good thing, right?


The problem is our modern view of police and their mission. We’ve allowed for and in many cases helped create a police state, where the police enjoy general immunity and are trained to commit crimes as a routine part of their duties.


THAT is a problem and it’s not waiting to happen….it’s happening all over the place.


Gordo

Doc T:


Scale back there mission?


If you want to get them out of the social work business I would agree with you.


Today many people have abdicated responsibility for their own lives and actions; when things don’t go their way they call the cops to “make it right”.


Your 10 year old kid is out of control, don’t be a parent! Call the cops to make Johnny behave.


Your ex husband didn’t drop your child off on time from visitation, call the cops!


You and your neighbor are fighting over a property line, call the cops!


Neighbor didn’t roll in trash cans in from the curb, call the cops!


Billy won’t take his psych meds, call the cops!


The “mission” of the police is to protect lives and property. Not hold everybody’s hands and tell them what they want to hear.


As for their lives being “more valuable” they are.. it is a rare individual who is willing to go into harm’s way to protect another human being. I think that police officers and firefighters are both extraordinary people and I’m glad we have them around. I would hate to think what our society would be like if we didn’t have men and women who are willing to go into those types of jobs to help protect the rest of us.


In government laws are passed to protect minority groups who may be the victims of violence based upon who or what they are. That is why we have legislation and enhanced penalties for crimes like defacing a church or synagogue, assaulting a person based on their religion, ethnicity or sexual orientation or assaulting a person because they are wearing the uniform of a police officer firefighter or paramedic.

Public employees should be held to a higher standard because they are our employees and we want and expect the very best from them, but do not confuse the immunities in the law that are designed to protect them in the course and scope of their duties with double standards for misconduct. They are not the same thing.


Stay focused on the issue in this story which remains an irresponsible dog owner did not secure a trained K-9 and this resulted in the death of one person in the serious injury of another.


mkaney

The problem with your logic is that police and firefighters do NOT actually put themselves at high risk to protect others. They have become risk averse. The occupational fatality rate for both of them is lower than most other blue collar jobs, including roofers, gardeners, groundskeepers, fisherman, loggers, and the list goes on. So you are basing your view on a false narrative. They did not even make the top 10 in 2015. On top of that, most law enforcement deaths are traffic related.


https://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/cfoi.pdf


DocT

100% correct mkaney.


Being a cop is more dangerous than being an accountant, but not as dangerous as being a truck driver and nowhere near as dangerous as being a construction worker, farmer, rancher, roofer or fisherman.


Those are facts that are easily verifiable for anyone.

.

So, when you hear someone gush about how cops “put themselves in harm’s way,” realize that it’s a relative term. Being a cop and “putting yourself in harm’s way” is far less dangerous than being a framer and framing a second story.


But framers and roofers don’t get to keep and train vicious animals.


standup

Exeter should be held liable also. It’s one thing to sell/ give away a service dog after it has served its duty. But to sell the dog that had documented training and behavior issues is just plan stupid and ignorant. Hang all of them starting with the punk who didn’t secure his known problem dog.


kayaknut

You have a point, anti-gun people want to go after gun manufactures for selling something they claim the manufactures know has the potential to cause injury and death. I suppose the same could be said here about the Exeter police department. Again this does not take away that the owner is at fault, also should the Exeter police department be found laible, the only people hurt will be the taxpayers in Exeter. The “protected class” in the department will never be held responsible.