Crime

SLO County DA: Owner of deadly dog attack could face charges

Owner could face jail time if case moves forward

GROVER BEACH, Calif. - The San Luis Obispo County District Attorney's office says the owner of the dog in a deadly dog attack two weeks ago could face charges if they move forward with the case. 

SLO County Animal Services just finished their investigation and handed their findings over to the DA's office Thursday morning. 

The owner of the dog has been identified as Grover Beach Police Department officer Alex Geiger. The dog was one of his personal dogs. 

64-year-old David Fear, the man who intervened when a loose dog attacked an 85-year-old woman, died from his injuries three days after the vicious attack. Fear had been in critical condition at Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center.

The aggressor dog, a 2 1/2-year-old Belgian Malinois, was euthanized. 

Dog owners are still shocked about the recent deadly dog attack.

"Just a major tragedy," dog owner Tina Hagmaier said. "Our hearts go out to everyone in the matter."

Geiger is a 4-year law enforcement veteran and has been employed with the Grover Beach Police Department since September 2016. He's currently on paid administrative leave.

Geiger issued the following statement regarding the deadly attack:

“I can’t begin to imagine the pain and sadness that the families of Mr. David Fear and Ms. Betty Long are going through as a result of this tragic incident. I know my words cannot change what happened, but I wish to express my sympathies and prayers to the Fear Family during this difficult time. I am also praying for Ms. Betty Long and her family and I wish her a speedy recovery. “ - Alex Geiger

"There's got to be some sort of charge but I would think it's got to be manslaughter," Hagmaier said. 

Other dog owners like Nicole Plaza, feel for the victims and the dog owner.

"I just think it's an unfortunate situation because again they're animals, you don't know the nature of a dog, you can own them forever and still not know  exactly how they're going to react," dog owner Nicole Plaza said.   

SLO County District Attorney Dow says they also could decide not to press charges.

"In order to file criminal charges, a prosecutor has to believe that we have enough evidence to prove guilt at the standard of beyond a reasonable doubt to 12 members of our  community," Dow said.

If the DA's office moves forward with charges, Geiger could face up to three years in jail.


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