WYCKOFF, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Dispatch recordings have been released after an infamous incident – in which a family dog was shot and killed after a police officer in Wyckoff, New Jersey responded to a report of a burglary at the wrong home.
As CBS2’s Alice Gainer reported, Wyckoff police Officer Kyle Ferreira was responding to a report of a burglary. But he got the house wrong.
Police have acknowledged the mistake, and now it has been heard on the dispatch recording.
“Reporting a possible break-in in the past, 621 Lawlins Road — 621 Lawlins,” a dispatcher says.
And then an officer is heard replying – as if to himself – with the wrong address. He says 622 Lawlins.
After dispatch says it was a burglary that happened in the past, the officer says: “Do you know how long in the past? We’re just right around the corner.”
The dispatcher replies, “According to the desk, quite a while in the past — like days.”
The homeowner at 621 Lawlins Rd. was, in fact, the one who reported the possible burglary, Gainer reported. When Ferreira went to 622 Lawlins Rd., he encountered the German shepherd named Otto.
“I have a shot fired up here,” the officer is heard saying in the recording.
Following the shooting that killed the dog, Wyckoff police Chief Benjamin Fox spoke with CBS2. He said Ferreira knocked on the door, and then went around to the back and found a ground floor window open.
“By all appearances, this is what he’s got — at that point, a burglary perhaps — and at this point, he does not know he’s at the wrong home. He drew his weapon for his own protection,” Fox said after the incident. “It was immediately after that the dog lunged out the window, went after him, attacked him, grabbed him by the leg.”
But if the burglary had happened days prior, why didn’t the officer just wait until the family got home? Wyckoff police would not comment.
The family of 5-year-old Otto was furious. Igor Vukobratovic showed CBS2 that bullet casings were still littering the backyard weeks later.
Vukobratovic said he does not believe Otto attacked the officer.
“I mean, he’s not a trained guard dog. He’s just a German shepherd,” he said. “If he sees a stranger, he’s going to come barking at them, but he’s never bitten anybody.”
Last week, pet owners and activists staged a demonstration alleging inconsistencies in the police report.
The family said they will forgive when they think they have gotten the truth.