An Austin man is fuming over what he says was the unjust killing of his dog by a police officer who arrived at his house by mistake.
Michael Paxton was playing Frisbee with his 50-pound Australian cattle dog Cisco last Saturday, when officer Thomas Griffin, responding to a call about a domestic disturbance, showed up outside his East Fifth Street home.
Paxton, who had walked over to his driveway to get something from his truck, says Griffin drew his weapon as soon as he noticed him.
"He had a Taser. He had pepper spray. I don't understand why, in broad daylight, he pulled a gun on me. I wasn't running. I wasn't hiding," Paxton told ABC News. "I was just saying, 'I live here.' I was panicking. I was afraid for my life."
Just then, Cisco came running from the backyard, barking and charging in the direction of the officer. "I said, 'Don't shoot him. Don't shoot my dog. He won't bite you'," Paxton recalled. "But he shot him, just like that. It all happened in under 30 seconds."
Adding insult to injury, it seems Griffin had the wrong address: The domestic disturbance report came from next door.
At a news conference held yesterday, Sgt. David Daniels said Griffin felt threatened by Cisco, and was "basically in retreat when he fired." Added Cpl. Anthony Hipolito: "[Paxton] was unable to [restrain Cisco] and the dog continued to attack and that's when the officer discharged his firearm."
Griffin said an Austin Police Department supervisor apologized to Paxton, and Hipolito claims Griffin apologized at the scene, but Paxton denies this. Friends of the 40-year-old, who said he was "in shock for probably almost 24 hours," have set up a Facebook page called "Justice for Cisco," which, at the time of writing, has over 40,000 followers.
UPDATE: Here's a link to the police dashboard video of the incident. Watch, listen, and judge for yourself.
[photo via Justice for Cisco]