Former Grover Beach officer’s dogs chased mailman before deadly attack

July 13, 2017

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

Hours before fatally attacking a 64-year-old man and seriously injuring an 85-year-old woman, the dogs belonging to former Grover Beach police officer Alex Geiger broke loose and chased a mailman, according to a court filing. Around the same time, neighbors were trying to contact the officer to confront him about his out-of-control dogs.

On Dec. 12, Geiger’s Belgian Malinois and German shepherd chewed through a fence and attacked David Fear and Betty Long. Fear died shortly after the attack, while Long survived with a broken pelvis and a broken shoulder. Long returned home earlier this year after undergoing a shoulder replacement and spending time in a rehab facility.

San Luis Obispo County Animal Services personnel euthanized the Belgian Malinois, which was determined to be the more aggressive dog. After initially letting Geiger keep the German shepherd, animal services personnel confiscated the dog but did not euthanize it.

Geiger, 25, is facing a charge of felony involuntary manslaughter and two felony counts of owning a dog trained to attack while failing to exercise ordinary care. He faces up to three years and eight months in prison.

Following the deadly attack, investigators took reports on the incident, which have now surfaced in court filings. One of the reports was written by Grover Beach police Sgt. Juan Leon, who stated he was the first officer on the scene.

Leon wrote that he found Long and Fear lying on the sidewalk with severe injuries. Leon got out of his patrol car with his shotgun and was calmly approached by Neo, the Belgian Malinois. Neo rubbed his muzzle on Leon’s leg and sat down.

The German shepherd, which did not have any blood on it, wandered off. Geiger, who was on duty at the time, arrived at the scene and secured both dogs inside his house.

While waiting for paramedics to arrive, Fear told Leon to help Long prior to assisting him, according to the police report.

Animal Services Director Eric Anderson, who has faced criticism for his handling of the investigation, likewise wrote a report. Anderson’s report states a neighbor said he saw two dogs run off Geiger’s property earlier in the day and chase a mailman.

Anderson interviewed the mailman, who said he was making his rounds in his truck when both dogs began to chase him and bark aggressively. The mailman said one of the dogs was particularly aggressive and was jumping on his truck trying to get at him. The dogs ended the chase after the mailman rolled up his windows and drove off.

During his investigation, Anderson interviewed Bret Inglehart, the coordinator of the Exeter Police Department K9 unit. Before coming to Grover Beach, Geiger served in the Exeter Police Department K-9 unit, along with with Neo, a police dog at the time.

Inglehart said Neo performed and trained well and met expectations. But, Inglehart said Geiger was taught that K9s must be in a locked crate or kennel when they are not under the direct supervision of their handler.

Anderson’s report stated Geiger had an empty 8-foot-by-6-foot metal wire kennel in his backyard. Geiger’s property also had a wood and lattice fence, which contained two splintered planks that were broken at the ground level. There were large, muddy paw prints visible on the fence.

Six of seven neighbors the animal services director interviewed said they were hounded by barking day and night after Geiger moved in. Geiger seemed to be away from the home for up to three days at a time, the neighbors said.

A next-door neighbor said the dogs were often going nuts and jumping on the fence in an out-of-control manner. That neighbor spoke with others, who as a group, decided to confront Geiger. But, they did not manage to reach Geiger before the attack, Anderson’s report states.







Loading...

12 Comments

  1. DocT says:

    Just some bare, unadorned facts:

    Neo was a certified, trained K9 officer in Exeter.
    Geiger was also certified as a K9 trainer….an expert.

    Those are facts. Here’s what I say is a reasonable conclusion to draw from those facts:

    Police dogs are not safe. They are deadly and should not be part of the police department. They do not protect and serve anyone but the officers and the department. We should not have K9 units in our local police.

    How do I get these crazy ideas? Neo was a certified K9 officer and Geiger was his expert trainer. He’s not alone, and Neo is not the only dog to misbehave.

    Not that there’s anything we can do about it. We’re just serfs. We’re expendable and our lives don’t mean much compared to cops and their dogs.

    (5) 25 Total Votes - 15 up - 10 down
    • copperhead says:

      Some additional facts, like how many incidents have there been over the years or nationwide with police dogs, may help support your conclusion.

      Polish up those facts that lead one to your conclusion.

      (-1) 3 Total Votes - 1 up - 2 down
      • DocT says:

        Copperhead: To my surprise, Law Enforcement does not keep statistics on this, neither do they keep a record of how many people they have shot, killed, or how many innocent people have been shot and killed, or injured etc.

        There are statistics, but nothing on CNN, MSNBC or FOX. An internet search will yield a TON of information and will demonstrate that it is the norm for K9’s to bite and injure the ‘wrong’ people. Searching under: ” how many police dogs bite the wrong person ” will yield enough results to easily persuade you.

        I get sick and tired of fetching links for people who aren’t concerned enough to do their own research! When I express an opinion, I am always able to back it up.

        Do your own research and then if you don’t agree with my conclusions, at least you’ll have something to back up your opinion.

        (2) 6 Total Votes - 4 up - 2 down
    • abigchocoholic says:

      Here’s what I say is a reasonable conclusion to draw from those facts:
      Police dogs are not safe.
      —————
      Your facts in no way lead to your conclusion. Not even close. Your facts are at one end of the continuum and your conclusion the other and you skip everything in-between.

      It’s like me saying:

      Ambulances are involved in 4500 car accidents a year. Ambulances should be outlawed.

      3,000 people die in car accidents involving licensed drivers every day. Cars should be illegal.

      14 people died from drinking too much water last year. Water should be outlawed.

      Everything in life is a risk. Crossing the street kills 4500 Americans a year. Until you know how many police dogs there are and how many lives they’ve saved v. how many they’ve wrongfully terminated, you’re clueless. Your conclusion is unsupported.

      (-4) 4 Total Votes - 0 up - 4 down
      • DocT says:

        OK…..I’ll bite….no pun intended:

        How many lives were saved by police dogs last year? Please differentiate between those who were given CPR by the dog and those who were saved from drowning, etc.

        Just how many lives have been saved by police dogs? Also, please note if the dog saved the cop/handler’s life or if it saved a serf’s life.

        It seems to me that K9’s are used for the following purposes:

        1. sniff out drugs
        2. sniff out dead bodies
        3. catch suspects/ find missing people
        4. protect human officers

        I’m all 4 dogs sniffing out dead bodies and finding missing people, but that’s rarely what they’re used for. Mostly, it’s to sniff out drugs and use physical force against people.

        But hey! I’m not above being corrected and I’ll certainly retract my statements if you tell me how many serf’s lives were saved by K9 officers.

        (1) 1 Total Votes - 1 up - 0 down
  2. 1965buick says:

    The neighbors must feel awful – but they did try.

    (13) 13 Total Votes - 13 up - 0 down
  3. George Bailey says:

    David Fear and Betty Long deserve justice in this case, and it is about time that SLO County DA Dan Dow got off the dime and raised the crime to manslaughter.

    Funny that only 5 months ago Mr. Dow was passionate in defending why manslaughter was not an appropriate charge, but now appears to have changed his mind, I guess he deserves some credit for finally getting it right.

    As a defendant, Officer Alex Geiger does not deserve to be singled out for aggressive prosecution because he is a cop, but neither does he deserve to be let off under the guise of being a public servant.

    Mr. Geiger had a special resonsiulility as a dog owner bringing deadly canines into a residential neighborhood, and it appears he failed miserably in making sure his neighbors were protected from these killer dogs. His prosecution under these new more serious charges is fully warranted, and we must demand that, as most dog owners do, people respect the safety of the public as a priority in keeping these animals.

    (26) 26 Total Votes - 26 up - 0 down
  4. tojofay says:

    The poor dogs- they were just misunderstood. Good thing they didn’t have to spend all their time in those terrible kennels. At least the dogs had a good life for awhile.

    (-16) 20 Total Votes - 2 up - 18 down
  5. kayaknut says:

    So Gieger knowingly caused the death of someone and yet his max sentence will be less than 4 four years, likely cut in half or more, down to 18 months, in a special unit, protected from those bad criminals and yet police and others in government want to continue to tell us there is no special treatment. Come on give up on that, we know there is special treatment for special people.

    (24) 32 Total Votes - 28 up - 4 down
    • jimmy_me says:

      Though Geiger is responsible for a killing, he’ll never see a day in jail. Prepare yourself for it.

      (15) 17 Total Votes - 16 up - 1 down
      • L.A.RamsFan says:

        “Prepare yourself for it”? Nahhhh! Ya don’t have to! Y’all know it’s coming! SLO has been empowering these type of events for decades now by not holding these type of LEO’s accountable, or the prosecutors who are suppose to, and discrediting those who complain about their unlawful actions.

        Stop with the ridiculous mock indignation! It’s nothing but lip service! None of you have the guts (I would say balls but then that would be sexist) to do anything about any of this. My proof? Remember Andrew Holland? Probably not!

        Y’all are not only used to it but you condone it with your inaction! Besides it’s only the accused (not yet convicted) and the mentally ill who are at risk, not y’all! And really who gives a fuck about them anyway, right?!

        Cowards!

        (4) 6 Total Votes - 5 up - 1 down

Leave a Comment