Dog days continue for owner of canine shot by cop
Jim Handlin’s trouble just kept rolling in. First his dog was shot, then he was arrested for being a careless owner, then they found out he was an ex-felon. The 21-year-old Bay Area native said he is getting the distinct feeling that Tahoe isn’t for him.
It all started March 10, when Handlin opened his front door for his rottweiler-mix named “Mickey,” along with a pit bull friend. They headed off for their morning constitutional, and Handlin went back in the house.
There was no fence to contain the dogs. Handlin believed the dogs were too well behaved to cause a problem. No one had ever had a problem with them before that Handlin knew – that was until they met a Douglas County Sheriff’s deputy.
The deputy was searching for the owner of a car that was blocking traffic on Logging Road – Handlin’s street. According to the deputy, the dogs advanced. The officer backed up and the dogs advanced some more. The officer fired. Mickey took a bullet through the shoulder.
Investigators said the deputy drew his handgun and fired only when it appeared the dogs were not going to stop their attack. Handlin claimed Mickey was innocent. He said his dog had never bitten anyone.
Handlin was charged with willful disregard of the safety of persons, and for failing to register as an ex-felon for a July 1997 burglary in El Dorado County.
Handlin pleaded guilty to both Douglas County charges this month, and if he behaves himself for the next year, the case will be dismissed. But his troubles have not completely disappeared. Handlin is still facing consequences for not informing his California parole officer when he moved out of the state.
“It just ‘dominoed’ on me,” Handlin said last week, as he sat waiting for his hearing in El Dorado County Superior Court. “I believe I could have beat the dog case, but they would have put me in jail for failing to register. Then I found out I had violated my probation in California.”
Final determination on Handlin’s parole violation is still pending. For now Handlin and Mickey are both back in the Bay Area. Mickey has almost recovered from his run-in with the law.
Handlin’s roommate and the owner of the pit bull, Gabriel Rowland, was also charged with willful disregard of the safety of persons, but it seems he was still asleep in bed when Mickey and Rowland’s pit bull strolled out the front door.
Prosecutors said Rowland stipulated to the court that the dog was considered dangerous under the statute. His case will be dropped in six months if the pit bull stays out of trouble.
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