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Police Shoot, Kill Pit Bull During Wild New Jersey Traffic Stop

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NBC News

What to Know

  • Two police officers shot and killed a pit bull dog that ran toward them after its owner released the animal during a traffic stop in northern New Jersey, authorities said
  • The shooting culminated a series of events that began Monday when Wanaque police tried to stop a tractor-trailer that was being driven erratically by John Baker, 54, of Spring Lake, Florida, authorities said
  • When Baker - who allegedly was driving drunk - refused to stop, Ringwood police also responded and forced him to stop the truck. The suspect was allegedly ordered out of the vehicle where there was a pit bull inside. The police told him to let the dog loose, but he did, according to Ringwood police

Two police officers shot and killed a pit bull dog that ran toward them after its owner released the animal during a traffic stop in northern New Jersey, authorities said.

The shooting culminated a series of events that began Monday when Wanaque police tried to stop a tractor-trailer that was being driven erratically by John Baker, 54, of Spring Lake, Florida, authorities said.

Police initially received a call around noon and tried to stop the driver on Route 511 northbound.

When Baker - who allegedly was driving drunk - refused to stop, Ringwood police also responded and forced him to stop the truck.

The suspect was allegedly ordered out of the vehicle where there was a pit bull inside. The police told him to let the dog loose, according to Ringwood police.

Baker eventually let the dog off its chain during the stop despite multiple warnings from police, authorities said. One officer fired one shot at the dog as it lunged at them, while another fired four or five times, authorities said. The first shot that hit the dog did not stop it, but it eventually succumbed to its injuries.

Baker was charged in Ringwood with five counts of aggravated assault on a police officer - one for each cop present at the time. He also faces eluding and drunken driving charges in Wanaque, as well as numerous motor vehicle citations in both jurisdictions.

It wasn't known Tuesday if Baker has retained an attorney, and a telephone number for him could not be located.

Copyright NBC New York/Associated Press
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