Man issued citation for threatening to shoot a dog
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
NEW CASTLE, Colorado ” A New Castle man was issued citations for disorderly conduct and reckless endangerment after allegedly threatening to shoot a pit bull that he said attacked his 18-month-old son in early March.
According to a police report, New Castle Police Officer Kathy Watson responded to a call on March 7, of a vicious pit bull that had allegedly bitten and knocked down a child at the home of Jason Birmingham.
The report stated that the dog was chasing a cat in Birmingham’s yard and may not have intentionally hurt the infant.
The infant was taken to Grand River Medical Center in Rifle and was released with minor scratches, and Birmingham said that there were no puncture wounds.
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New Castle Patrol Sergeant JuLynn Saunders wrote in the police report that Watson responded to the call and was also advised by dispatchers that Birmingham had a pistol and was threatening to shoot the dog.
The report also states that Birmingham was the initial caller who reported the incident to authorities and also informed dispatchers that he had a pistol.
Watson reportedly contacted the dog’s owner, Renee Nuccio, 23, of New Castle. The report states that Watson secured the dog in her patrol vehicle with Nuccio’s help.
According to the report, Watson then called Garfield County Sheriff’s deputies for backup because Birmingham started “screaming and yelling” at her to get the dog and get off of his property.
Watson reportedly left the scene after issuing Nuccio a citation for a vicious dog but later returned to Birmingham’s residence, along with Saunders, at which time Birmingham was issued the citations. Saunders mentioned in the report that she accompanied officer Watson to Birmingham’s house because she was “familiar” with Birmingham because of a previous incident involving a firearm.
Birmingham said he didn’t understand why he was being charged for what he said was protecting his son from a vicious dog.
“I was a little irate when they arrived,” Birmingham admitted when Watson first arrived at his home after the incident.
“The dog was going crazy, neighbors were out watching. I brought my handgun out not knowing if it was going to attack anyone else,” he said.
Nuccio told police that Birmingham had not actually aimed the gun at her, but that it had been pointed in her direction several times.
Birmingham could have been charged with a felony, according to the report, but because of the circumstances in the case the misdemeanor charges were considered more appropriate.
While the dog was taken into custody and taken to a local dog kennel for a 10-day quarantine, it was released to Nuccio at approximately 8 p.m. the same day.
The police report stated that the dog could be released if an “acceptable compromise” could be reached. The agreement, in part, states that by taking control of the dog, the owner understands that the dog is accused of being vicious, and that the dog is to be quarantined, and that if any additional violations between the time of release and the court hearing occur, the dog will be confiscated and held by the New Castle Police Department.
Nuccio told police that the dog was going to be taken to her father’s home in Littleton. Nuccio was charged $45 for an impound fee.
Saunders reported that approximately two weeks earlier Nuccio was issued a vicious dog citation after an alleged altercation involving the same dog was reported to police. According to the report, that incident occurred on public property, and the dog was not on a leash. No further information was available on that incident.
Contact John Gardner: 384-9114
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