The count of pit bulls shot and killed by Valley police in the last three weeks has risen to four. Phoenix police officers shot and killed another pit bull Wednesday evening at an apartment after the dog charged an officer trying to arrest a suspected felon.
Four officers found Vito Olivia, 20, waiting in his doorway as they arrived to arrest him on suspicion of a weapons violation. When Olivia reached toward his waistband, the officers rushed to restrain him. As the group struggled, a “machine-pistol” type handgun fell from Olivia’s pants.
Just inside the house, Olivia’s little sister had hold of a pit bull terrier. She released it. The dog ran from the house, turned and charged an officer near the doorway.
Police said the officer aimed his gun and fired, killing the dog.
Olivia was arrested for a weapons violation, aggravated assault on a police officer and resisting arrest. His sister was also charged with aggravated assault on an officer.
Two other incidents in Phoenix and one in Tempe led to pit bull slayings in late January.
In the first Phoenix incident on Jan. 22, a pit bull attacked a German shepherd and lunged at a toddler.
Later that week, another pit bull latched on to its 73-year-old owner’s arm before she called police for help. Her injuries required surgery.
Also that week, a Tempe police officer shot and killed a pit bull after it attacked a woman near where police were investigating complaints that the dog owner threatened his neighbors.