July 18, 2018
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Police: Officer shot dog that attacked him in Lisbon

By Beth Brogan, BDN Staff

A Lisbon police officer responding to a call on July 26 on Claire Drive in Lisbon shot a dog that attacked him, according to police. The dog was later euthanized.

Officer Andrew Levesque went to the mobile home in the Lisbon Falls area at 2:38 p.m. to check on the well-being of a girl at the home, according to a release from Lisbon Police Chief Marc Hagan.

The dog was a 5-year-old American Stafford Terrier, also known as a pit bull mix.

When he knocked on the door, Levesque could hear a dog barking “aggressively” on the other side of the door, despite the dog having been placed in a separate room prior to police arriving on a call regarding a child custody issue earlier that day.

The homeowner, 70-year-old Vernon Hamilton, then opened the door while holding the dog’s collar. The dog pulled away and allegedly charged at Levesque, biting his hand.

Levesque kicked the dog and jumped off the front stairs to the home, repeatedly warning Hamilton to control their dog. Hamilton attempted unsuccessfully to control the dog, which then bit Levesque in the thigh.

Levesque kicked again and the dog attacked a third time, biting him in the other thigh.

While fighting off the dog, Levesque drew his gun and shot the animal three times, Hagan said. The dog hid under a nearby vehicle before running away.

Levesque was treated and released at Central Maine Medical Center for injuries and received a series of rabies shots because the dog had not received required rabies vaccinations. Hagan said he is expected to return to work later this week.

At 7:13 a.m. July 27, the dog was located near the home and taken to a nearby veterinary hospital, where it was euthanized due to the wounds it received.

According to Hagan, on July 18, Hamilton was issued summonses for keeping an unlicensed dog, failure to vaccinate a dog and allowing a dog to be at large after the same dog reportedly attacked a neighbor’s dog and acted aggressively toward its owner.

At that time, Hamilton allegedly said he owned the dog, but on July 26, he said his 22-year-old grandson was the owner.

Hagan said that police will confer with the district attorney’s office about potential charges from the incident.

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