SLO County deputy shoots dog three times during suspected burglary

June 20, 2020

Junior Gonzales


A San Luis Obispo County sheriff deputy who wrongly assumed a man was robbing a dry cleaners on June 15, shot the man’s dog three times. An Atacadero police officer then handcuffed the man’s wife, even though the couple lives on the premises and no crime had occurred.

On June 14, Junior Gonzales, 40, and his wife Alexandria Panos drove down to Escondido to visit Gonzales’ sister and to pick up business supplies. The next evening, Gonzales dropped his wife off in SLO to pick up her car, and drove back to their studio apartment next to the family business — Fashion Dry Cleaning & Laundry at 7800 El Camino Real.

At about 11:30 p.m. on June 15, a deputy driving by the business noticed the front door was open, the business lights were out, a car with its trunk open in the parking lot, and a man was pushing a laundry cart towards the vehicle.

Suspecting a burglary in process, the deputy exited his patrol vehicle, drew his gun and identified himself as a sheriff’s deputy.

Gonzales’ two pit bulls, Roxi and Luna, began barking at the officer. Roxi then ran toward the deputy, who told Gonzales to get his dog, before shooting the dog three times.

Gonzales said he hesitated out of fear the deputy would shoot him.

“She ran up to him barking,” Gonzales said. “She started to sit down. She was looking up at him, wanting to be petted.”

The deputy shot one round into the 1-year-old dog’s jaw, another bullet into the dog’s chest and a third bullet grazed the dog’s leg, Gonzales said.

Even though Gonzales informed the deputy, and officers who arrived after the shooting, his wife was on her way home, when she arrived an Atascadero officer cuffed her and detained her for about 10 minutes.

Following the shooting, a local veterinarian treated Roxi, and released her the same day. While Roxi is expected to fully recover, both Roxi and Luna now bark when customers come to the dry cleaners. Following the shooting, Luna refused to eat for three days, said Yasuro Gonzales, the owner of the dry cleaners and Junior Gonzales’ father.

The sheriff’s office offered to pay for all vet bills related to the incident, but the family declined on advice of an attorney.

Conflicts between law enforcement and the Gonzales family began approximately 11 years ago when deputies  forced entry into Yasuro Gonzales’ unlocked San Miguel home, and then ransacked the dry cleaners based on a bad tip from an informant.

On Aug. 10, 2009, an officer yelled “search warrant” outside a large plate glass window at the dry cleaners. Moments later, the officer hit the window cracking it. Another officer then began beating out the glass with what looked like a bat.

Approximately 10 officers participated in the raid of the dry cleaners, while another team of law enforcement personnel smashed through a garage door at Yasuro Gonzales’ San Miguel home.

“The front door was open,” Yasuro Gonzales said. “They didn’t even try it. They told me to put a claim in to the City of San Luis Obispo (the lead agency on the raid).”

Though the family tried, they were not paid the thousands of dollars in property damages they incurred, Yasuro Gonzales said.

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Hmm, I have never had my house or business raided by LE based on “a bad tip by an informant”, or for any other reason. Sounds like there’s some familiarity here that we don’t know about. SLOPD the lead agency for raids in San Miguel and Atascadero? Something bigger is going on. “Just that facts ma’am, just the facts”.

What facts? This incident did not involve SLOPD or the Atascadero PD….that’s the facts. These officers believed that someone was breaking into the business, maybe next time they should just ignore it.

Simple solution: force police pensions / unions to pay for damages brought on by lawsuits, so they will have an incentive to police themselves. When someone else pays for my mistakes, I don’t learn very well.

I know an officer who used to check in on folks on home detention in San Miguel going back to the early 2000s .He told me folks on sheriffs home detention program knew when he entered San Miguel and when he left town and he never told them he would be arriving .There is only 3 ways in and out of San Miguel : North and South 101 and River Road .So when raid happened in 2009 suspects knew the sheriffs were in town to do a raid so of course front door was open . Just to add some humor to their own raid , back then population was around 1300

I read some aspects of both sides that give me pause, but at the end of the day a person is innocent until proven guilty. So, in the meantime I will be shifting my dry cleaning business to Fashion Dry Cleaning & Laundry at 7800 El Camino Real!

You mean the owner is innocent but not the officers. Sounds to me that you have already convicted the officers of doing something wrong. So I guess that means you don’t believe that all people are innocent until proven guilty?

Pit bulls make up only 6% of the dog population, but they’re responsible for 68% of dog attacks and 52% of dog-related deaths

There has never been a year when pit bulls have accounted for less than half of all attacks.

One person is killed by a pit bull every 14 days.

Two people are injured by a pit bull in the US every day.

Between 1858 and 2000, there are only two recorded instances of shelter dogs killing humans. From 2000 to 2009, there were three fatal attacks involving shelter dogs (one pit bull, one breed similar to a pit bull, and one Doberman). But from 2010 to 2014, there have been 35 shelter dogs who fatally attacked humans. ALL but 11 were pit bulls.

Why do herding dogs herd? Why do pointing dogs point? They don’t learn that behavior, that’s selective behavior. Pit bulls were specifically bred to go into that pit with incredible aggression and fight.

PIt Bull advocates, and people seem to fall for this noble cause saying pit bulls are just like any other dog, its only how you raise them.

Every breed of dog conceivably can be neglected and abused. And not every kind of dog responds to neglect and abuse by killing and injuring people like pit bulls.

No, civil liberties activists and Americans advocate for basic human rights, and not having them violated by gun toting and shooting trespassing peace officers whom are truly disturbing the peace, and getting paid bank to do so.

So mytwopointfivesense is getting thumbs down for sharing astonishing facts about pit bulls and their aggressive behavior? What is up with that?

Pulling random non-correlated statistics together to support your bias is not generally behavior worth encouraging.

Take the very fist “factual” statistics that were shared with no actual reference/proof:

Pit bulls make up only 6% of the dog population, but they’re responsible for 68% of dog attacks and 52% of dog-related deaths

Is this data all from a specific study? Unlikely.

Is it all from the same data set? Unlikely.

Is it even accurately portrayed? Unlikely.

Just another example of fear mongering. Someone cherry picks statistics to try and tell a story that justifies their own bias. Sources most likely look like this:

  • • 6% of the dog population. (Probable Source: Data for the entire US provided by American Kennel Club)

  • • 68% of the dog attacks. (Probable Source: Data from some inner city hospital in West-Philly, from a neighborhood near Michael Vick’s farm)

  • • 52% of dog-related deaths. (Probable Source: Data related to choking on hot-dogs)

I am sure this guy did EVERYTHING he could NOT to be suspicious.

Isnt it private property the owner of the business was on, you know, his business? Weren’t law enforcement trespassing off assumption “I mean suspicion of suspicious”. Legal terms matter I guess.

No Kevin they were not trespassing. ” Weren’t law enforcement trespassing off assumption “I mean suspicion of suspicious”. Hey Kevin I recommend that you stop drinking while your blogging.

Big tough cop couldn’t handle a dog and uses a gun seriously, no legs, taser, pepper spray, baton, just goes straight for his lead supplement? I’ve been mauled by dogs causing stitches, and mauled by grown men and held my own, and didnt need a damn gun and to shoot either, and near residential homes as well. Oy, this will cost us taxpayers what, 100k? Give guns to educated people like my neighbors, not 6 month academy grad police jockeys. Dear lord, another cop incident involving a dog. Slo, ag now atascadero, at least he didnt sexually assault the dog too, and then pepper spray it while detained, never know with cops.

Let me get this right, it’s 11:30 at night and the business door is open and the business lights are OUT. I would be thankful that the Deputy stopped to investigate in an attempt to protect my property. Then the owner has an unleashed pit bull that charges toward the officer.

The lack of pet responsibility and failure to use common sense by the business owner to simply turn on the lights is the root cause of this encounter. I am personally offended that the County offered to pay for the vet bill as the shooting, while sad, seems perfectly acceptable to me.

Several of the comments have spun the facts to meet the latest agenda of all of societies problems being caused by the public safety personnel. The alternative would be for the officer to ignore a potential crime in progress and just head down to the 7-11 for some cheap coffee. We will all pay for that level of dereliction of duty and glad to see the local cops taking a stand. Again, sorry about the dog but the owner has a legal obligation to control the animal which he did not.

The dude was leaving his shop at the end of the day, and you blame him for not having his lights on?

In SLO county 40% of the businesses have a dog roaming around, especially female business owners. The cops should not be surprised to encounter one.

You spin the facts equally in your favor with a benign interpretation for the police.

Giving them the benefit of doubt is no longer an option.

What we do know is he unloaded 3 shots before assessing the situation properly.

He reacted not to what he found, but a preconceived idea of what he thought may be occurring. He was needlessly fearful because of it.

The business owner did nothing wrong here, only the cop.

We may be better off it he did sit at 7-11 and waited for a burglar alarm to be called in by a central office tech. Otherwise next time he shoots someone’s wife or daughter leaving work late with her dog alongside for protection.

“No amount of evidence will ever persuade and idiot.” Mark Twain

Absolutely! You have to love idiots they are great entertainment.

Just curious, what is your source for 40 percent of businesses have dogs roaming around?

Source? Hahaha

He doesn’t have a source.

So you’re saying you cant be suspicious on your on property, and isnt that statement an oxymoron in itself in America? I see several illegal law enforcement actions taken starting with trespass and ending with shots fired and a shot dog in a residential setting. This happened AGAIN folks. This just friggin happened in slo and no sh*t was given,we have to hold ALL people accountable for their actions and crimes.

Recent incident with the cop in SLO shooting the dog:

If we are suppose to hold people accountable how come so many criminals and village idiots are still on the street? Answer: Unlike police officers these people are considered victims. You can go around tearing up innocent hardworking people’s businesses, destroy public property, and assault police officers who are trying to protect these business and their property and yet Kevin you are a victim. News flash you are only a victim of yourself.

Thanks Silence Dogood I am glad to see an intelligent well educated individual respond to these “cop haters (oh except when they need them). People like this are the ones who discourage good people from becoming police officers. Who would want to this job where you put your life in danger everyday and are poorly paid. We should be thanking these people for what they do. People don’t appreciate them until they need them. Let’s hope that these types of disrespectful comments don’t put us in a position where when we call 911 the dispatchers tells to take a number.

Not only are we paying this A hole deputy for atrocious judgement, we’re paying for him to unload in town (and with no effect). This proves cowardice and a fundamental inability to function as a law enforcement officer. WTF happened to guys tough enough for the job? PS, we haven’t forgotten your panga boat budget Sheriff.