Nobody injured when shots fired Saturday at fairgrounds

ADRIAN — A Malheur County Sheriff’s deputy is recovering from being attacked by a large German Shepherd while he was assisting the Department of Human Services with a call in the Adrian area on Thursday. During the sheriff’s office investigation, it was discovered that the dog had previously been aggressive toward people, as such charges may be filed when the investigation is complete.

The incident happened at about 5 p.m. in the 2400 block of Mitchell Butte Road. The deputy was able to contact dispatch to say he had been attacked and to call an ambulance.

While en route to the scene, Wolfe heard the paramedics request an air ambulance, a call which eventually got canceled.

“It puts a lump in your throat when you’re headed there and you hear them calling for Life Flight,” the sheriff said.

Fortunately, the deputy was able to quickly take defensive action, or his injuries would have been “so much worse,” he said.

What happened

According to Wolfe, the deputy was at the address with DHS, which was there conducting interviews in reference to children. The deputy made contact with the man in the house at the door, where they were talking when suddenly the German Shepherd “bolted out and went right to the deputy and knocked him down.”

The dog bit the man several times, leaving puncture wounds on his hands, which he used to cover his face in defense. It also bit him several times in the chest area; however, the deputy’s bullet-proof vest was able to protect him from any puncture wounds there.

“It tore up his shirt,” Wolfe said.

While this was happening the man and his wife, along with the DHS worker were also attempting to intervene.

The sheriff said that eventually, the deputy was able to wrap his arms around the dog’s neck and his legs around the dog’s hind quarters to keep the dog from being able to bite him anymore until the owner was able to get the dog off and away.

The deputy was taken by Treasure Valley Paramedics to Saint Alphonsus Medical Center-Ontario, where he was treated and released late Thursday night.

“He has follow-up visit with the orthopedic doctors,” Wolfe said, adding that they won’t know if there is any lasting effects until then. “They can’t tell until the swelling goes down.”

The deputy will be on medical leave as long as needed, the sheriff said.

Determining charges

Malheur county has a dangerous dog ordinance, however the German Shepherd does not fit into any of the breeds listed.

He will be listed as an aggressive dog and the owners will have to make the decision whether to keep it. If they do, they’ll have to build a five-sided kennel, which includes a top, so the dog cannot get out of it. Additionally, the dog will have to be muzzled or leashed anytime he’s out of that kennel, Wolfe said.

At first, deputies didn’t believe there would be any charges, however, when finding out about the dog’s previous run-ins, it was decided there may be.

“What makes this even more troubling to me, is we learned during the investigation last night that this do had attacked the garbage man recently to the point where he took the glove off the man, and he has lunged at other people, as well,” Wolfe said

While it was fortunate no injuries had happened during those previous incidents, Wolfe said it does show the aggression of the dog.

As such, once the investigation is wrapped up, a report will go to the Malheur County District Attorney’s Office in order to determine charges.

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