|Death: ||Jun. 17, 2006|
Apollo a family Pit Bull was shot and killed by a Tampa police officer early the morning of June 17.
Two officers knocked at the Cintron residence, one was a k-9 officer there with his dog.
Jason Cintron opened the door and was talking to the police officers, when at this time friendly Apollo, the family Pit bull, squeezed through the door and ran to the K-9 officer and his dog. Apollo just wanted to play like any other dog. He did not show any signs of aggression, such as growling or showing his teeth.
What happenned next is not clear because both parties involved describe it differently. Only one thing is certain, Apollo, was shot and killed by the the K-9 officer, who when he saw Apollo approach, drew his gun and fired. Apollo was dead.
This gruesome scene all happenned in front of Apollo's 9 year old owner, a little boy who saw his dog die in front of him.
Apollo is described as never aggressive,just playful. This was the case that morning, when he ran towards the officer and his dog, and that friendly playfulness got him killed.
He had been with the Cintron family for 4 years.
An even more tragic end, to this is that the person the two Tampa police officers were looking for at the residence, was not even living there.
Owner Disputes Police Story Of Dog's Death
By SEAN C. LEDIG The Tampa Tribune
Published: Jun 18, 2006
TAMPA - The shooting of a family dog was a rush to judgment or a necessary split-second decision made to protect a police officer.
Either way, Apollo is dead, and a Tampa police officer is under investigation.
It started with Tampa police serving an arrest warrant about 7:30 a.m. Saturday. They knocked at the door of the Cintron home looking for a burglary suspect. A resident, Jason Cintron, 31, answered the door to find a police officer standing there and another officer with a police dog several feet behind the first.
While Cintron spoke with the officers, his pit bull, Apollo, squeezed out the front door and ran at the police dog.
What happened next and why is disputed by Cintron and the police.
"He wasn't being aggressive," Cintron said of Apollo. "He just ran to play with the other dog."
"He didn't show his teeth or growl," he said. "He's not an aggressive dog. I've had him for four years, and not once have I had a complaint from anyone."
Police spokeswoman Laura McElroy said the officer at the door told Cintron twice, "Hold your dog." Then Apollo "made a beeline" for Troy Neal. In fear for himself and his dog, Neal drew his gun and shot Apollo.
"He was forced to shoot the dog," McElroy said. "This officer is a K-9 officer and a huge dog lover. I know this was very hard for him to do."
Cintron said Neal at least should have apologized to Cintron's 8-year-old son, Elijah, who witnessed the shooting.
McElroy said the incident is under investigation, which is routine when an officer draws and fires a weapon.
Saturday's incident is the second time in two months a Tampa police officer has shot a dog. In April, Officer Darrell Johnson shot one of two pit bulls that attacked James Cobb Jr. as Cobb was on his way to Mary Grace Baptist Church in east Tampa.
The burglary suspect in Saturday's case, 27-year-old Abel Morano, does not live at the Tampa Bay Boulevard address. McElroy said she had no other information about Morano."That was the address we had, but he is not residing at that address anymore," she said. "It happens a lot when you're talking about people who live a life of crime."
Sonnie Rivera, 24, Elijah's mother and Cintron's girlfriend, said the shooting complicates things for her as a mother. "What's an 8-year-old supposed to think when he sees a policeman shoot his dog?"
Thank you with all my heart to Victors Dearest Aunt Glocken for sponsoring Apollo's memorial page. God bless you.
Specifically: Does not give info.
Created by: J.A. & D.S.
Record added: Jun 20, 2006
Find A Grave Memorial# 14658127