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Chief who shot dog ordered to turn in gun

The police chief of the small California town of Maricopa has apparently been ordered to turn in his gun after shooting and killing a family’s dog in September.

A temporary restraining order delivered to him Friday by  the Kern County Superior Court commissioner also requires Chief Gene Fretheim to stay away from the four people whose dog he shot.

The chief told the Bakersfield Californian he had no intention of giving up his gun. Later Monday, however, he did turn in his weapon, according to Bakersfield Now, the website of Channel 56.

Lutie Thompson, a Bakersfield attorney who requested the restraining order, described the a 63-year-old officer with more than 27 years experience at the Los Angeles Police Department as “a loose cannon,” according to the newspaper report.

Th0mpson requested the order on behalf of  Lisa Chavez, who claimed that her 8-year-old pit bull mix, Matty, had been snared by a dog catcher and then shot by Fretheim. She said the chief wants to get rid of all pit bulls in town, and told her he shot her dog because it was a pit bull.

The chief said the dog had bitten a city employee, and that as he and  “a volunteer dog catcher” tried to capture it, the dog lunged at him. He shot the dog, and then it was snared, he said.

The court order says Fretheim has to stay100 yards away from Chavez, 38, Milne, 35, and their two children aged, 7 and 13. A hearing is scheduled Oct. 15 on whether the order will be extended.

City officials say the restrianing order may have been delivered prematurely — and that  the court merely approved scheduling a hearing on the request for a restraining order, as opposed to the order itself.

Until it’s all figured out, the chief will perform only administrative duties.


Comment from Nancy
Time October 13, 2009 at 9:22 am

Cops seem to like to shoot dogs. Over and over and over and over and over. Shoot shoot shoot shoot. It also appears Gene has no respect for law as he said he has no intention of turning over his gun. If a citizen said the same, he’d be shot on the spot.

Comment from hgalinda
Time October 15, 2009 at 10:11 am


Comment from james
Time October 15, 2009 at 12:44 pm

When a cop shoots your dog, it is a subtle message that what he really wants to do is shoot YOU. As usual, violence against animals is an indication of a tendency towards violence against humans.

Comment from Beth Gruff
Time October 15, 2009 at 1:30 pm

This guy has no respect for the law or the family’s rights, or the dog’s rights for that matter. How can he take the law into his hands and not be responsible for his actions?

Comment from FredH
Time October 15, 2009 at 7:56 pm

Good for the chief! One pit bull down; thousands more to go!