San Luis Obispo County

Owner of dog in fatal attack in Grover Beach acquitted

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. - Alex Geiger, the former Grover Beach police officer whose dog attacked and killed 64-year-old David Fear in 2016, was acquitted of charges relating to the attack.

Geiger was facing felony charges for involuntary manslaughter and failure to maintain a large animal causing serious bodily injury and death after his dog attacked two people in December of 2016.

Geiger's Belgian Malinois was previously trained as a police dog in Kings County. When Geiger purchased the dog, he signed a waiver releasing liability because the animal had shown aggressive tendencies during training. 

Geiger's dog attacked 85-year-old Betty Long outside her home on Grover Beach Street. Her neighbor, David Fear, intervened in the attack and was critically injured by the dog. He died at the hospital a few days later. The dog was euthanized.

At the time, Geiger was a Grover Beach police officer. He was placed on administrative leave following the attack and later resigned. 

On Friday, a jury ruled Geiger was not guilty of the felony charges. 

San Luis Obispo County District Attorney Dan Dow said he was disappointed with the result but was thankful to the jury for hearing the case.

"The facts of this case are tragic for all involved and the incident has greatly affected the families of the victims, Mr. David Fear and Ms. Betty Long. Our staff at the Christopher G. Money Victim Witness Assistance Center will continue to provide available support to the victim’s families going forward,” Dow said in a statement released to our newsroom.

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