BY EMILY MIBACH
Daily Post Staff Writer
An appeals court has thrown out an East Palo Alto woman’s lawsuit against police who shot her 85-pound pit bull while chasing a suspect.
On March 31, 2015, East Palo Alto officer Clay Warford was chasing a Norteno member through a residential neighborhood when he hopped the fence into the backyard of Erica Prado. That’s when he was confronted by Prado’s dog named King.
According to Warford, King was baring his teeth and seemed ready to attack. So he shot King in the leg to keep the dog from attacking him, allowing him to keep looking for the suspect, according to the court ruling that was issued Wednesday.
Warford ultimately was able to arrest the suspect, and then went to apologize to King’s owners, according to the ruling. King’s owners were unhappy and swore at Warford, so he left, the ruling said. Police ended up taking King to the animal hospital after the incident.
King nearly died from a loss of blood, according to the original lawsuit filed in San Mateo County Superior Court.
King’s health is declining
King now suffers from bone spurs, he limps and needs to take joint supplements now as a result of the shooting, Prado said yesterday. King’s health is progressively getting worse, despite being 7 years old.
Prado, in her civil suit against police, made several claims including that Warford’s entry into her yard was an illegal search. The state appeals court sided with police and pointed out that there are previous Supreme Court rulings that allow for police officers to look in people’s backyards for someone who is a suspect in a foot chase.
It would have been different, if Warford had entered Prado’s home during the chase, the appeals court said.