South Carolina

Cop shoots pit bull in head and makes owner wait half hour for help, SC lawsuit says

A deputy shot Ollie the pit bull in the head while at his owner’s house, South Carolina cops say.
A deputy shot Ollie the pit bull in the head while at his owner’s house, South Carolina cops say. Screengrab from The Greenville News Facebook page

A man whose dog was shot by a South Carolina cop was blocked from getting veterinary care for almost 35 minutes, he says.

Johnny Eugene Tyner was on his farm in Taylors in October 2016 when a deputy fired toward his pit bull mix, according to a lawsuit filed last month against the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office.

The bullet struck the dog, Ollie, before he fell onto the ground, the lawsuit says.

Tyner said he was “in clear view of the entire event and was quite obviously distraught, as he had just witnessed his companion get unjustifiably shot through the head.”

While Ollie was bleeding, deputies prevented Tyner from helping “in an attempt to allow the dog to perish,” according to the lawsuit.

The pet owner was allowed to take his dog to a vet after more than a half hour of waiting, the court filing says.

The Greenville County Sheriff’s Office doesn’t “comment on pending litigation,” spokesman Lt. Ryan Flood told McClatchy newsgroup.

Ollie is one of 18 dogs shot by the agency’s deputies since 2015, The Greenville News reported Friday.

The shooting happened after Tyner called dispatchers to ask about a search helicopter that was flying over his farm, the lawsuit says.

Deputies came to the property, and Tyner told the shooting officer that his off-leash dog “would not bite or become aggressive towards him or his K-9,” according to the court filing.

The cop fired his gun after Ollie started to sniff him “in a completely non-threatening manner” and walked toward the K-9, the document says.

“As soon as they saw him, they had a preconceived notion that he was going to be aggressive,” Devon Puriefoy, the dog owner’s attorney, told The Greenville News.

It took more than a year for Ollie to get back to normal, the newspaper reports.

Tyner wants a jury trial and is suing for negligence, emotional distress and other reasons, his lawsuit says.

Related stories from Hilton Head Island Packet