BEDFORD-- A Bedford detective is recovering after he drew his gun and fired while being attacked by a very large, very mean Cane Corso, a bullet hitting himself in the foot.
Bedford police say the incident began with the robbery of a PNC bank near the department headquarters.
"They were able to pull up a video of the bank robbery and one of our detectives as soon as he saw it recognized the suspect as one of our locals here," said Bedford Deputy Chief Rick Suts.
Police identified the robbery suspect as Bradley Delvallie, 40, who lives in nearby Oakwood Village.
Officers were able to get a probable cause warrant and later that evening went to Delvallie's residence to make the arrest but he was not there.
They were met at the door by Ray Opatka. "We told him why we were there and he said that the suspect was not at home but he would let us check the home if we wanted to and he said he just needed to put the dogs away. When he opened the door to secure the three dogs the biggest dog, a cane corso came out and was very aggressive," said Suts.
"He was mean, to begin with," Opatka told Fox 8 on Friday. "He was very protective. A Cane Corso, was about a hundred pounds of dog and cracked the door a little bit and he came running out and drug me down the steps and then went and jumped on an officer," said Opatka.
Police say they attempted to subdue the dog, a three-year-old Cane Corso named 'Ralph', with tasers but it wasn't phased.
"We tried everything. We tried the taser, we tried creating distance and the dog was just keyed on him. And tried to bite him in the face. He had no choice but to defend himself," said Suts.
The officer drew his weapon and, with the dog virtually face- to -face with the 6'4" tall officer while standing on its hind legs, he fired downward hitting the dog in the neck.
One of the bullets passed through the dog and hit the officer in the foot.
Opatka says he saw the muzzle flash and knew that the officer was shooting at the dog, but tells Fox 8 News even he would have done the same thing under the circumstances.
"Yeah he would have bitten him, he bit everybody he met," said Opatka. The officer was treated at a hospital for his injuries. The dog was able to run into the house where he died.
Delvallie was later arrested and remains in custody on the robbery charges. Opatka says he has no hard feelings about what the officer did. "I can't really blame the officer the dog was just flat out mean," said Opatka.