Dos Palos, CA – Dos Palos resident George Aguaristi filed a $1 million dollar suit in Merced County after authorities came onto his property without a warrant last month and the killed his 5-year-old pitbull, Samson. The entire ordeal was captured on surveillance cameras installed on the property.
To add insult to injury, after killing his dog, whom Aguaristi referred to as his “best friend” and “son,” the officer can be seen urinating on Aguaristi’s fence.
Authorities have yet to explain why they came onto the 61-year-old Dos Palos resident’s property despite signs being posted on the front gate noting “No Trespassing” and “Beware of Dog.”
A report in Merced Sun-Star explained:
He said he woke up May 30 with a neighbor knocking on his window who said officers had been in his fenced-in yard. The 61-year-old noted he has "Beware of Dog" and "No Trespassing" signs on the front gate.
Aguaristi said he went outside to feed Samson and Delilah, another pit bull, but couldn't find the male. After finding a business card wedge in the screen door, he called the number, which was for an investigator for the Merced County District Attorney's Office.
Efforts to reach the lead investigator by phone were unsuccessful on Thursday.
It was an investigator who told the homeowner that an officer had killed his dog, Aguaristi said. He'd slept through it all.
"I was just in shock. My mind just went," Aguaristi said. "Eventually, I said, 'Is there something you needed to ask me?' And, (the officer) says, 'No, that's about it.' "
After being informed that his dog had been killed, Aguaristi reviewed footage from the surveillance cameras on his property. The footage revealed that around 8:30 a.m. a male and female officer entered the property through the front gate where the signs were posted. The female officer can be seen walking towards the porch of the residence, at which point Samson comes down the stairs and takes a stance between the front door of the home and the officer.
At this point the officer appears to use pepper spray -- which only serves to agitate Samson -- who begins to move toward the officer. The officer can then be seen pulling a firearm and shooting/killing the dog.
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While likely not aware they were being recorded, the two officers can then be seen taking Samson’s dead body and an investigator can be seen washing Samson's blood off of the driveway with a garden hose.
"They killed my dog and they stole it," Aguaristi said.
The fact that these officers took the dog and attempted to wash away the blood is indicative of an attempt at covering up the truth of the incident in that these officers came onto private property, which warned to “Beware of Dog” and “No Trespassing,” and proceeded to then kill an animal that was doing what it was supposed to be doing – and where it was supposed to be!
Sadly, this is not an exception to the rule, as TFTP has reported time and time again on cases of police officers shooting dogs maliciously and without regard. In fact, just the other day we reported on the case of an officer shooting at a dog in a small room resulting in a 9-year-old child being shot in the face.
Samson is now buried on the property, and a neighbor's children, who played with the dog often, have made a cross for his headstone, Aguaristi said.
Aguaristi said that he doesn’t hate law enforcement, but just wants "justice for Samson."
"He was a good boy," he said. "He didn't deserve that."