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What started as a routine traffic stop ended in tragedy when a Houston police officer’s actions led to the death of a 14-year old blind Chihuahua along the side of a busy highway.
Josie Garcia that her husband, along with their beloved dog, Guero, and a family friend were driving along Houston’s Highway 59 when his SUV was pulled over for failing to use a turn signal.
After pulling the vehicle over, the officer searched the SUV’s contents and found prescription medication which Garcia says belonged to the passenger. Both men were arrested.
When the towing service arrived to impound Garcia’s vehicle, the arresting officer removed Guero, the Garcia’s 14-year old Chihuahua who is nearly blind from cataracts, and left him on the side of the road.
“My husband pleaded with the officer to let him call someone to come get Guero, and asked him to call Barc (Houston’s animal shelter), but he said it wasn’t his problem, that the dog would be fine,” Garcia told KTRK ABC13 News.
The SUV was towed, the men were arrested, and Guero was left alone and unable to see along the highway.
While charges against both men were ultimately dropped, it was too little, too late for Guero. He was struck by a vehicle and killed.
Garcia has since filed a complaint against the officer with the Houston Police Department Internal Affairs.
Tuesday, she told her story to City Council. Mayor Annise Parker was particularly shocked to hear what happened to little Guero at the hands of an HPD officer.
“Let me give you a public apology right now on behalf of the city of Houston,” Parker told Garcia. “I don’t know what airhead — there’s another word in my mind but I’m not going to say it — would throw, you wouldn’t put a kid on the side of the road. You shouldn’t put someone’s pet on the side of the road.”
Council members are now looking to revise any policies involving animals that may be unclear to avoid a similar tragedy in the future.
Thank you Norman M. Turner!
Was the cop at least charged with animal cruelty? If not, why not! Any citizen would have been charged for doing that. I feel sorry for the family and that sweet little dog. He must have been terrified. That cop didn’t make a mistake or have en error in judgement. He knew what he was doing and was intent on inflicting as much emotional pain as he could. The event and his handling of it speaks to his character. What he did was mean and spiteful. He should be fired. Cops that are spiteful will also write numerous, unnecessary tickets, and tickets for offenses that never occurred and then they will tow the person’s car; all to inflict as much financial and emotional pain as possible on someone. The people that are seemingly most often subjected to this are financially less stable people regardless of race, or ethnicity.
The tow truck driver’s a jerk too!
I hope they follow thru on taking action against this piece of [email protected]! I’m so sick of seeing these stories from the people who are paid to protect us!! Sad human being!
Cops are so stupid, heartless, ignorant and every other insulting word I can think of. How could he do something like that and WHY DOES HE STILL HAVE A JOB?
Who enjoys power over others? Those who are bullies by nature. Police occupation by its nature attracts bullies. We lost the safeguards necessary to prevent misconduct because while the public watches football, cops are lobbying the legislatures for more power and less accountability. If a city council passed an ordinance that those who voted for their losing opponents all had to be shot to death, cops would be out shooting them to death. Cops are just wind up robots, if told to burn down old folks home, they promptly rush to do it. Reform starts by making cops personally pay lawsuit damages. Where their ability to pay ends, seize cop union pension funds till the shortfall is covered. If they say they’ll all leave the occupation if we do this, let them. We’d be better off. This bastard saw a chance to be cruel, and he jumped all over it, because cruelty is what motivates police.
You read the wonderful story about the officer stopping to allow the duck and ducklings to cross the road safely. There have been so many wonderful animal/officer stories lately. Then you read this one. Kinda wipes the good ones from your mind.
This is truly one of the most disgusting things I’ve ever read.. I’m beyond appalled… What’s wrong with this low life piece of crap that hides behind a badge…. How dare he not let this poor man call someone to get his beloved dog. .. How can things like this continue to happen in our country??… If something isn’t done to this officer that’s drastic then it just sends the message that this behavior is tolerated. …it has to STOP….NOW!
Why doesn’t this article say that this ASSHOLE was fired , and charged with animal cruelty? All it says is that the head of the PD offered an apology , and the guidelines concerning animal rights us being reviewed! !! I hope the entire city where this happened voices their opinion about this cop! This BULLSHIT with cops carelessly killing peoples pets while in pursuit of catching criminals has got to stop! There was a cop that killed a dog in his own yard , because the suspect ran through someone’s house! Also video’s of cops caught beating a dog up! NO MORE!!
Norman M. Turner
Attorney at Law (Ret)
2272 Spring Lake Road
DeFuniak Springs, FL 32433
Mayor Annise D. Parker
City of Houston
P.O. Box 1562
Houston, TX 77251
August 4. 2014
Re: Open letter to Houston Mayor Annise D. Parker
Dear Madam Parker
I am outraged and dismayed by the story of one of your police officers who deliberately abandoned an elderly, blind, 14 year old dog beside a busy highway to be run over after an arrest of Mr. Garcia, the dog’s owner, and care taker arising from a traffic stop. Reportedly the imbecilic officer refused to either allow Mr. Garcia to call his wife to have her pick up the little creature or to see to it that it would be safe. Instead he told the driver of the tow truck he called to put the dog by the road.
The morally defective tow truck driver did just that and after being abandoned alone beside the highway, the poor, blind, elderly and terrified little creature was subsequently run over by a car.
I viewed a tape of your tepid “apology” for this atrocity and have a few comments for you. For starters, the police officer you characterized euphemistically as an “airhead” is not. He is a heartless, stupid a**hole. Let us start there.
Apparently the query into this abomination has been left to an internal investigation, the police investigating the police, that will take as long as 60 days to complete. That alone is outrageous. The matter is simple concerning the officer. Either he or she did it or he or she didn’t. Any semi-intelligent individual could complete an investigation on this issue in less than two weeks.
I am a retired criminal law trial attorney and former criminal court judge (Riverside, CA Superior Court). I have several questions.
1. What was the rationale for the search of Mr. Garcia’s automobile? Unless the Constitution is different in Texas, a vehicle search resulting from nothing more than a traffic stop is unlawful under the 4th Amendment without substantial probable cause for arrest in addition. This officer apparently did just that and then arrested Mr. Garcia based on drugs discovered by an illegal search held by his passenger and unknown to him.
2. Did this officer violate Mr. Garcia’s constitutional rights based on an illegal search?
3. What is this officer’s name? The press has apparently been unable to determine that. Is this an attempt to play “hide the ball?”
4. Sixty days to conduct an investigation? You have to be kidding. This sounds like the sort of slow walk done by governmental agencies in order to slow down the process and let memories dim.
5. Why wouldn’t the Houston Police Department respond to queries by Mrs. Garcia about this outrage? Are they not interested or just covering their posteriors?
6. Is it the policy of the Houston PD to search cars they stop for traffic violations in violations of the 4th Amendment? If this is not their policy and this jerkoff officer did it anyway, he should not be “disciplined,” he should be fired.
7. If this IS within the policy of the Houston PD might it not be time to start looking for a new chief?
8. Utilizing your word, “airhead,” is it YOUR policy to hire airheads and issue them guns and badges?
It seems to me that the City of Houston might be facing substantial monetary risk from the possibly illegal and absolutely brain dead actions of its agent, “Officer Zero.” No charges were even filed against Mr. Garcia. If I were advising the Garcias I would suggest that they hire an attorney to inquire into the possibility of filing lawsuits for Infliction of mental distress and violations of their constitutional rights based on the illegal search, false arrest and false imprisonment.
This whole matter the actions of the officer and also those of the tow truck driver, who apparently was cut from the same piece of human offal as the officer, seems also to be violations of the Texas Criminal Code Sections listed below:
§ 42.092. Cruelty to…Animals
(a) In this section:
(1) “Abandon” includes abandoning an animal in the person’s custody without making reasonable arrangements for assumption of custody by another person.
(b) A person commits an offense if the person intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly:
(2) without the owner’s effective consent, kills…or causes serious bodily injury to an animal;
(3) fails unreasonably to provide necessary food, water, care, or shelter for an animal in the person’s custody;
(4) abandons unreasonably an animal in the person’s custody;
Norman M. Turner
Attorney at Law, Retired
Former Judge (Riverside, CA, Superior Court
I am so hoping I can get in vontact with this guy….I applaud your quedtions and now I know what to ask….I figure a phone call is not really going yo do the trick but I want that freaking officer fired and jailed. This doofus is paid to orotect us and allhe is a badge with an ego the dize of Texas. He will be one that is gunning down innocent people if martial law rhat is surely coming…..that will be his cup of tea. Sorry different subject entirely…..I am furious and need to know how to procced further with this. I am sorry from the mayor means zero to me and zero to family. It does not bring back that furkid nor take away the hortor that furkid felt as he was wandering around to find safety. Anything that someone can help me with as I try to push for justice for this little guy…..if you don’t stand for anything. You will fall for everything…..
Have you been able to get anywhere with your letter? It’s so nice to see those of authority willing to step up and fight authority in situations that are clearly unacceptable……I applaud your efforts and this makes me ill…….I appreciate the points that you highlighted and the fact that clearly a lot of heads need to roll and a simple apology doesn’t cut it…….I pray the family hires a lawyer and prosecutes to the fullest extent of the law!
That poor baby. I can’t image how scared and alone he felt on the side of the road. I have two Boston Terriers and if some public officer did this to one of them, not only would he be sued but also the town or county that he worked for would be sued. And the officer should have been fired the day he was reported for doing this.
This is beyond sad. I have three dogs and this makes me sick to my stomach!
Officer needs to be fired, the charged with cruelty to animals and animal abandonment.
The officer should be fired immediately
God help us!! this is the type of disgusting lack of compassion that is permeating this country (we’ll leave the rest of the world out of this for now) and we allow it to happen.
you mean to tell me that NO ONE ELSE was on the road at that time to see this happening??!! i don’t believe it…and i won’t…because “they” are JUST as guilty as this officer……oh…and the tow truck driver?!! was he blind also???!!
this makes me sick….there is no excuse, reason, or recompense that will make up for this…God will have His say…this is one of HIS creations…and you…all of YOU..will answer to HIM!!!
God help us!
FIRE THIS BASTARD! HE GIVES COPS A BAD NAME!!!
I think the officer should be FIRED!!! How could he just let the poor dog that is almost blind out on a busy hwy??? I say an eye for an eye!!
These damn pigs today are no better than the gangsters, criminals on the streets. Its aka as the NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND POLICY. This is just one example of what defines them, which equals to cant read, write, spell, including lack of basic skills to reason etc. Im not saying all but many!
Does the policeman still have a job? There has to be a punishment that fits the crime. Can you blindfold him and put him on the highway?
I’M FROM THE PROVINCE OF QUÉBEC CANADA AND THIS WOULD NOT BE TOLERATED IN OUR COUNTRY .
This is so ridiculous! I’m sick over how police across this country are treating people’s pets. And I come from a family of law enforcement and military!