Owner of Dog Shot in Taney County Says it May Lose Leg

Deputies shot the dog while searching for a suspect

KISSEE MILLS, Mo. -- UPDATED  (8:15 a.m.)  Taney County Sheriff Jimmie Russell says the suspect in the car chase and subsequent search, was arrested about 7:00 a.m. Tuesday morning in the area of Highway M and Highway 160.  

Rusell says the 38-year old man is being held in the Taney County Jail without bond on a felony warrant issued for failure to appear on three felonies, Stealing motor vehicle, tampering with motor vehicle, and resisting arrest. He is also being held pending the filing of charges in connection with the pursuit.  

The owner of a dog that was shot and wounded by a Taney County deputy Monday, says his dog may lose a leg from the injury.  KOLR10 News talked with Michael James when he picked up his injured dog from a Springfield emergency veterinarian Tuesday morning. 

"Probably gonna lose a leg... the bullet shattered his leg."   

James says he owns two pit bulls and a lab mix.  One of the pit bulls was shot when deputies came into his fenced yard Monday evening while searching for a suspect in a car chase earlier in the day.

James says two shots were fired, one flying over his head.  "I could have been killed tonight," James said.

James says there were five deputies at his property, three of whom came inside his fenced yard. He says deputies did not notify him they were on his property and did not ask for permission to search it.

Taney County Sheriff Jimmie Russell sent a news release Monday night, saying deputies were at James' property near Highway M and Highway 160 about 5:00 p.m. Monday, after reports of someone matching the car chase description being spotted on foot in the area.

The chase happened earlier in the day near Highway 160 and Frank Rea Road. The chase ended at Cane Creek Road and McGee-Keys Road when the car hit two patrol cars.  Two passengers were arrested, but the driver fled on foot.

Russell says deputies returned to the area later in the evening to search for the driver.  They searched a shop building and came out of that building into James' fenced yard. 

According to Russell's release, "...the owner of the property released three pit bull dogs into the yard and they attacked the deputies."   James says his third dog is a lab mix and one of his pit bulls is an emotional support dog.  James told KOLR10 News he served eight years in the military with three tours in Afghanistan.

James disputes Russell's statement that the dogs attacked.  "The dogs were no where near him (the deputy)."  James says he was in law enforcement for eight years.  "They have tasers, they have pepper spray.  Less lethal should always be the first choice," James said.

James says his injured dog is his emotional support dog. "I've got him trained now because I have PTSD and would roll out of bed.  So, I got him trained now when I shake he lays on me to stop me from falling out of bed. I had to sleep on the floor last night in fear of rolling out of bed because I didn't have my safety dog."

Russell's news release says "We do not believe the homeowner new (sic) Deputies had just opened the door and stepped out."

Download to read Russell's release here:

 

 

 

Our original story:

TANEY COUNTY, Mo. -- Taney County Sheriff’s deputies attempted to stop a vehicle on Missouri Highway H Monday morning. The vehicle fled, but the car chase eventually became a foot chase after the Missouri Highway Patrol successfully spiked the tires of the vehicle and the driver fled. Taney County deputies were attacked by three pit bulls during the foot chase.

The car chase began at about 9:48 a.m. Monday on Missouri Highway H. The pursuit continued into Christian County, south on Highway 125, to Bradleyville, west on Highway 160 before highway patrol was able to spike the tires of the vehicle, according to a Taney County Sheriff’s Office press release.

The vehicle continued to Cane Creek Road and stopped on McGee-Keys Road.

During the chase the driver rammed the vehicle into the passenger door of a deputy’s patrol car and struck another patrol car head-on, causing minor damage.

When the vehicle stopped two passengers were taken into custody, but the driver fled on foot.

At about 2 p.m. deputies received a tip that the driver was in a field near Missouri Highway M and Highway 160. Two deputies began searching the area on foot.

After walking through some wooded areas the deputies found an open “shop building,” according to the release. The deputies, for their own safety, were searching any open buildings they discovered.

While exiting the building on the opposite side the deputies entered a fenced area. Just as deputies entered the area, the building’s owner released three pit bull dogs.

One deputy was able to climb the fence before the dogs got to them, but the other deputy wasn’t able to climb the fence “before the dogs were on him,” according to the release.

The deputy being attacked fired three shots to defend himself, shooting one of the dogs in the leg.

No injuries to the deputies were mentioned in the press release.

The Sheriff’s office does not believe that the owner knew the deputies had just entered the area.

The driver was never found.

It is believed that the driver has active warrants for his arrest. The driver is a white male, 35-40 years old, about 5 feet 8 inches tall, about 145 pounds with dark hair. The driver was wearing a green hooded shirt and blue jeans, according to the release.

One of the passengers taken into custody was identified in the release as Miranda Taft, 39, of Branson. She was arrested on a Branson Police Department warrant for three traffic charges. Taft is being held at the Taney County Jail on $675 bond, according to the release.


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