A Tragedy Avoided, Just Barely
Topeka, KS - A Topeka police officer fatally shot two pit bulls recently near Topeka Collegiate School after they snarled at a school maintenance man and menaced a high school student walking to class. The dogs were shot at 7:15 a.m. after they charged the officer, said police spokeswoman Kristi Pankratz.
David Hudspeth, head of school, said the maintenance man arrived about 7 a.m. and saw the two pit bulls in front. He tried to shoo them away by clapping his hands because students are dropped off starting about 7:15 a.m. The dogs were snarling and barking, so the employee called authorities.
Clapping can send pit bulls into blitz mode -- cases have been documented on this. Sharp sounds, such as clapping, heighten their aggression.
Before authorities arrived, the dogs charged a Topeka West High School student who was walking to school. The student got away from the dogs and huddled near the maintenance worker. After police and animal control arrived, the dogs charged an officer and were shot. One died on the scene, the other died shortly after being taken to a vet.
Some students were being dropped off at school during the incident. Hudspeth drove the high school student, who was "really shaken," to Topeka West. No one was injured, and Hudspeth praised police officers. "The police could not have handled it any better," he said. The dogs' owner, who lives across from the school, was cited for pit bull ordinance infractions.
Topeka, Kansas bans pit bulls. This owner should receive serious citations; having his dogs taken from him would be an added bonus. Topeka Collegiate School should take note of the Daniel Decembre case. He was severely mauled while on school grounds. He subsequently sued the county school board. The case is still pending.