Paul Trott says cop who shot his dog told him, "This is what we do and I would do it again"

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Tito (left); Tito and one of his owners, Josh Lyczkowski (right).
During my regular Friday appearance on AM 1130's Up and At 'Em show last week, yours truly and hosts Jack Tomczak and Ben Kruse talked about the sad story of Tito, the dog that was recently shot to death by a Minneapolis cop on the North Side.

During the discussion, one of Tito's owners, Paul Trott, called in to share his perspective. Right off the bat, he said this: "The very first thing out of [the officer who shot his dog's] mouth, and the truth is, he said, 'This is what we do and I would do it again.' And that is the honest truth."

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Here's the full audio:



Shortly after the shooting, Trott told us the MPD officer who shot his nearly two-year-old, 120-pound Cane Corso is Officer D.R. Mattson, badge number 4486. Mattson was in an alley in the area of Aldrich and 39th Avenues North looking for a car theft suspect when he shot Tito. Unbeknownst to Trott and his partner, Josh Lyczkowski, the suspect had broken the gate to their yard's fence while fleeing, and their two dogs found their way to the alley when Trott and Lyczkowski let them out.

After Tito was shot, "From the very first words out of [Mattson's] mouth, [police] were very hostile to us, which is a big part of why we're angry," Trott continued during his AM 1130 call. "If they feel threatened in some way the first thing they do is empty a round [in a dog]."

Trott's characterization of officers' attitudes isn't seconded by the MPD, however. In a statement released after the shooting, the MPD said, "Police officers are placed into situations where, at times, they must make immediate decisions based on only the facts that are present at that moment... The decision to shoot, or harm, an animal is not made lightly, but at times must be made immediately."

"These are very sad and unfortunate incidents and ones that no one wants to occur," it concludes, the implication being that Officer Mattson had no choice but to open fire when the dog bounded down an alley toward him.

Minneapolis Police Department spokesman John Elder tells us that as is standard procedure when an officer uses a gun in the line of duty, Tito's shooting is under internal investigation. He couldn't provide a specific timeline for when it might wrap up, but investigations of this sort are often lengthy processes.

Trott says he's been in regular contact with his City Council representative, Council President Barb Johnson, since the shooting. Reached for comment yesterday, Johnson, who recently made a case that the city isn't doing enough to address North Side public safety issues, withheld judgment on whether police had a valid reason to gun down Tito.

"There are a fair number of encounters with dangerous dogs in north Minneapolis and, you know, I represent the 4th Ward, which always has the largest number of calls to animal control," Johnson said. "From what I understand the officer felt he was in danger and that's why he shot the dog. Now, whether or not his perception was justified or reasonable, that's for the investigation to find out."

Send your story tips to the author, Aaron Rupar. Follow him on Twitter @atrupar.






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89 comments
lycz0001
lycz0001

The suspect was already in custody at the time the officer shot Tito.  There should not have been any reason for him to be already holding his gun.  The cop did not make any other decision than to shoot Tito, because as he said in his own words..."That is what we do and I would do it again."

Chad Howard
Chad Howard

So those calling for mace in this situation...picture it this way....you police are chasing a felon....you have your gun out because you don't know who this guy is......your alert level is high....focus is all around who knows where he could be... next thing you know a dog is coming up on you out of nowhere......you really believe theres enough time to put the gun back in your holster....fumble around for your mace and still have enough separation between yourself and the dog thats closing in on you to pull it out and spray the dog while still trying to be alert to the felon you are trying to locate?

Samantha Rei Crossland
Samantha Rei Crossland

I absolutely understand being afraid of the dog and if it is policy to shoot if you feel like you're in danger. I guess I understand that too. What really bothers me is all of the things that he said about having no regrets and being so callous to the owners. If it was a child he probably would have shown remorse and apologized. This was their fur kid. Why does he deserve less respect? Would it have killed him to apologize or not said any of the awful things he said? I'm scared of dogs that are big, too, but I wouldn't try to kill it unless I felt like it was attacking me. Not going to attack me, but actually attacking me. The dog ran. Couldn't he have subdued it in a non-lethal way? It's just gross. The whole situation is so sad. This dog did not deserve this.

Richard Essex
Richard Essex

A cop perusing a criminal, pumped up on adrenalin, has a 120 pound dog come at him and must make a quick decision to protect himself. Given those circumstances, as I understand them from this story, I think his action was appropriate. I agree with Zak Chesson about people.

Tony Bones
Tony Bones

because they are dumb pigs. no brains so they do dumb shit. psychopaths carrying murder weapons.

Justin Kyllonen
Justin Kyllonen

and cops wonder y no one has any respect for them! they don't deserve any respect ever!

Jason Dupay
Jason Dupay

They only carry tazers and pepper-spray to use while the other 5 cops hog-pile and pound on someone like jaywalker. You know, 2 cops hold the arms, one cop kneels on back-of-neck, one cop twists ankle, cop #5 kicks and stomps while screaming "STOP RESISTING," while cop #6 empties the bottle of PS and repeatedly hits the tazers button. That'll teach the 77 year old jaywalker!

Christian Johnson
Christian Johnson

And many cops wonder why many people don't trust them, or worse, hate them

Xochitl Mendoza Ramirez
Xochitl Mendoza Ramirez

Fuck them what a pathetic piece of shit to shoot a dog that was more than likely being playful.

Paul Marcucci
Paul Marcucci

Got to love all the dumb police officers we have in this state. Can we replace all of them with a bag of shit, I rather pay for that..

Kara Jensen
Kara Jensen

Idiots don't hv to shoot. If they think they are going to attacked..there are other options. Cops are just shoot happy. Period.

Chad Peppin
Chad Peppin

Cat has a great point for City Pages

Hilary Simonson
Hilary Simonson

This is really appalling. I assume that there's a great deal of ongoing training that police officers have to do to maintain their positions, isn't it possible to train officers in non-leathal defense procedures for times when they feel "threatened" by an animal? If these kind of dog killings don't stop, there will be major consequences in the form of citizen action... It's not rocket science: stop denying the issue and start fixing the problem.

Brittany Wilcox
Brittany Wilcox

Cane corsos are such fantastic, relaxed dogs, this is an absolute shame! And Tito was still very young and likely just wanted to play. TRAIN THE COPS ABOIT DOGS. All dogs, train them to know what a scared posture is, what a playful bound looks like and so on. And especially because this day most animals are microchipped, at least we chip all of ours at the humane society. Dogs show their emotions in their body language and they don't hide their feelings.

Corrine Gray
Corrine Gray

Fuck them! I am glad what happened to my bf/hubby my friends and me they didn't shoot our dog or us we pleaded ! The young officer was so shaky and pointing semiautomatic weapons at our heads over a noise complaint and we have no noise ordinance in our area! frightening listen American citizens this is happening could happen to you! I live in a small Wisconsin town population of barely 2000! We need to rise up and do something!

bustdamatrix
bustdamatrix





Patsy Bannochie Michaud You apologist cop boot lickers should really get your heads out of the sand. A cursory  5 minutes of reading will point to a epidemic of cop killings and beatings of people and dogs. Even if they would I would not call a cop to scoop the turds out of a cat's litter box since they would probably end up shooting the cat. The thin blue line gang disgusts me and that is exactly what they are, a gang only they have the legalized monopoly on violence, collecting funds from traffic schemes, victim less crimes and forfeiture. Cops are loathed by increasing amounts of people who don't buy the platitudes spouted by the likes of you.



Ryan M. Hansen
Ryan M. Hansen

Also it's pretty clear Janeé Harteau doesn't have control of her police force. It's been a disaster since she stepped in as Chief.

Style a Go-Go
Style a Go-Go

I don't understand why having a gun get's you immediately set above the rest of us to where you aren't held accountable. Also, why do cops always seem to have power issues to the point where you can get arrested for insulting them? It makes no sense! Just because you have a gun, it doesn't make you a better, bigger person than the rest of us. He should be punished just like someone else who neglects or abuses animals!

Amy Widmer
Amy Widmer

What about mace or a tazer gun instead?!?

Kitty Berg
Kitty Berg

Pretty sure our cities ARE overtaken by rapists, crooks, and gangs already.

Maurice Anderson
Maurice Anderson

We need Pet Ambassadors that show up where the cops are on a call and keep the doggies busy and safe while the pigs smash down someone door for smoking a joint.

Kitty Berg
Kitty Berg

Has anyone actually DIED of a dog attack, like, lately? Bitten and permanent scars, yes, but a bullet wound would give you the same damage and you'd have less people angry at you. How many people have cops killed? Granted, I'd rather see a cop kill people than a dog, but still. Math.

Patsy Bannochie Michaud
Patsy Bannochie Michaud

HUNTER, I do own a dog, but if she approaches ANYONE in a manner that is considered dangerous, or makes another human feel threatened, yes, she would be shot if they had a gun.. You can not wait to be attacked by an animal as big as a human. The Police encounter many animals that don't get shot. That doesn't get reported to city pages because that's BORING news-Hey let's look at the Postal workers that are attacked and bitten by dogs. We don't hear much about them! Know why? Because it's not as fun to throw crap shots at a Postal worker as it is a Police officer.

Patsy Bannochie Michaud
Patsy Bannochie Michaud

Nice Eric Shawn Smith. We are all entitled to opinions Mr hobgoblin. I agree with Cat Lemke. City pages needs to look at threatening remarks and block Eric Shawn Smith immediately.

Jaime Clifton
Jaime Clifton

They don't all shoot first. I've seen them hand dogs over to neighbors to keep them under control so they don't have to shoot them. Not all are trigger happy. C'mon people. Geez. To be able to protect you they have to be able to protect themselves first. Not all dogs are angels, some are protective and some are vicious.

Hunter Warne
Hunter Warne

Patsy Bannochie Michaud So you'd just shoot it, assuming it's gonna attack you??? Your take on this is pathetic. I hope you don't have any dogs yourself. I pray for their safety if you do.

Nathan Miller
Nathan Miller

The officer that unloaded a clip into this puppy is a licensed thug and he will walk away from this unscathed. A lawsuit would be a waste of time. Unfortunately we elect milquetoast officials that allow these pigs to shoot first and never have to be questioned later. There are amazing police officers out there...there's just too many awful ones that make the news.

Stefanie Megan Brown
Stefanie Megan Brown

Conan Troutman makes the best point. As long as our tax dollars support the Police Department, we have the right to demand higher standards from them. We The People paid for pepper spray,tasers, etc. Fucking use them.

Eric Shawn Smith
Eric Shawn Smith

I feel sorry for you and your foul offspring, and hubby if you are relying on cops to make you feel safe. Good luck with your false sense of security you hobgoblin.

Eric Shawn Smith
Eric Shawn Smith

Zak Chesson You mean all those horrible rapists, pedophiles, murderers and politicians? No thanks but I'd rather not associate myself with those people, they are not MY fellow humans.

lycz0001
lycz0001

@Chad Howard "The suspect was already in custody at the time the officer shot Tito.  There should not have been any reason for him to be already holding his gun.  The cop did not make any other decision than to shoot Tito, because as he said in his own words..."That is what we do and I would do it again.""

lycz0001
lycz0001

@Richard Essex 

The suspect was already in custody by the time the cop shot Tito.  He was pumped up on adrenaline alright, and was disappointed that the suspect did not give him a reason to shoot him, so he shot the next best thing, A DOG sniffing trash cans!

TruDat
TruDat

She'll fire two good cops for calling her a lesbian, then throw in racism for good measure, but she won't even question all the bad acts by gun happy cops.

Reality__
Reality__

Sweetie, with a face like yours, you'll never have to worry about getting raped.

NoMoreGasthof
NoMoreGasthof

i would have fun making comments on postal workers...my guess is those are so few and far between you don't hear about them

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