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Friday, Aug 22, 2014
Crime & Courts

St. Pete police officer shoots, kills dog in park

Published:   |   Updated: January 10, 2014 at 11:10 AM

A police officer fatally shot a German shepherd that attacked an officer at a park Thursday night, the St. Petersburg Police Department said.

Kenneth McNeil, 21, was walking a dog through Williams Park, 330 Second Ave. N., when two officers recognized him, the department said. McNeil had been barred from the park due to several prior arrests there on charges of disorderly conduct, police said.

McNeil has been caught trespassing in the park in the past, police said.

The officers approached McNeil to learn why he was in the park, but McNeil ignored their commands to stop, police said.

As McNeil tried to head north in the area of the 300 block of Second Avenue North, the officers physically tried to detain McNeil, but he struggled with the officers and released the dog’s leash, police said.

Steven L. Laurenzi, 28, a sworn officer since 2008, shot the dog several times after it tried to bite him, police said.

McNeil was arrested at 8:09 p.m. on charges of trespassing, resisting arrest with violence and possession of marijuana, according to jail records. Bail was set at $450.

Neither McNeil nor the officers were injured.

McNeil told investigators he does not own the dog but was walking it for a friend. Acquaintainces told police McNeil owns the dog.