Grandmother Sues D.C. Police For Killing Her Dog

A grandmother is suing the District and its police department for $1.5 million after her 13-year-old dog was killed when three officers shot it while searching her home.

Marietta Robinson claims that police needlessly shot Wrinkles multiple times after she shut it away in the first-floor bathroom prior to the officers entrance, according to a complaint filed Friday in federal court.

He said, Go ahead and put her in the bathroom, we wont hurt her, Robinson told media after the June 2010 incident in which police came to her Mount Vernon Square home with a drug warrant connected to her grandson.

But shortly after police entered, Officer Sarah Pezzat opened the bathroom door and fired at least one shot, injuring Wrinkles, the complaint said. Robinsons attorney, Rebecca Troth, said Wrinkles was 60 pounds and a mixed breed probably including pit bull, and had no history of hostility.

According to the complaint, Wrinkles then bit Pezzats left boot and fled into the hallway, heading toward Robinson, who had owned the dog since she was a puppy.

In the hallway, a second officer shot the dog and a visibly wounded and bleeding Wrinkles ran down the hallway leading to the main living area of [Robinsons] residence and appeared to try to climb [Robinsons] stairs, whereupon [Officer Richard] McLeod fired several shots at Wrinkles. At the conclusion of McLeods shots, Wrinkles lay dead at the base of [Robinsons] stairs.

But a police incident report gave a different account and contains no mention of the dog being confined in a bathroom. Wrinkles is described as a large pit-bull dog that attacked Pezzat, biting her several times upon her left boot. Pezzat fired after not being able to free her foot, the report said, and a second officer also fired. The dog was put down with five more shots after it appeared to run toward other officers all the while showing teeth and growling in a very aggressive manner.

Robinson said she remained in the hallway during the shooting, pleading with officers to stop.

A Metropolitan Police Department spokeswoman said Tuesday that she would not comment on pending litigation.

Troth said the police abused their power.

They were shooting around our client, she said. I think they would be much more careful in an area that was more affluent.