PAINESVILLE, Ohio -- The Painesville Police Department is releasing information about an incident involving one of its officers.
According to a press release from the department, on Wednesday, June 21, police received a call from a woman who had been in traffic in the area of Mentor Ave. and Chestnut St. near Rider's Inn, when a vehicle several cars in front of her struck a dog in the road.
The caller stopped and covered the dog with a sheet as it was lying on the sidewalk in front of the tavern.
Police said the caller reported the dog passed away a short time before the officer arrived on-scene.
According to the caller, the officer was just being lazy, and was kicking at the sheet to cover the dog completely before picking it up; however, the officer admitted to nudging the dog with his foot in order to be certain he would not be bitten before picking up the dog.
Acting Police Chief Dan J. Waterman said the officer, unaware children were watching, then grabbed the dog by its front legs, and flung it into the trunk of another officer's cruiser, who had arrived on-scene to assist.
In the press release, police said:
"We are fully aware that those observing this incident were upset by the abrupt manner in which the officer loaded the dog into the trunk of a cruiser. This could have been alleviated by waiting for another officer to assist, so that the process of picking the dog up would have been more discreet. Doing so would have of course been preferable, and would have allowed us to avoid the appearance that he did not care for the animal."
Waterman told FOX 8's Kevin Freeman, the officer involved is a K9 officer and has apologized to the dog's owners.
Police also reached out and made full apologies to the original caller who covered the dog, and also to the owners of the dog.
The chief told Kevin the officer did nothing wrong procedurally, but said the officer could have handled the situation better.
Chief Waterman said the officer will do some type of community service training for a day.
The children who witnessed the incident were guests at Rider's Inn.
The Painesville Police Department said it deeply regrets that anyone had to see what happened. Police said they will make certain incidents like this will not be handled in this manner in the future.
The chief said the incident was looked into by both him and the department's internal investigations supervisors.