I-Team 8

Doorbell video shows officer kicking dog; Terre Haute police body cam adds perspective

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A doorbell video posted by a dog owner is tough to watch.

But, Terre Haute police say, viewers need to put the video into perspective and see what let up to the officer’s actions.

Haley Richey posted 22 seconds of video on Twitter. At 2 seconds in, viewers can see an officer approaching a house with a flashlight and a dog barking.

Five seconds later, viewers see the officer kicking the dog. He continues to kick the dog five times before it runs off the porch.

Richey posted on her Twitter page that someone broke into her home, and her dogs ran the intruder off.

After thousands of online comments, the Terre Haute Police Department posted its own video from the officer’s body camera on its Facebook page, along with a response to Haley’s claims. 

Terre Haute police say they were called Monday to the 1700 block of Ohio Street for an aggressive white pit bull that had been charging at everyone that went by, not for an attempted break-in at the home.

The person who called police lives next door and told police the dog had bitten a child and a mailman in the past.

A few seconds into the officer’s body camera video, the officer shines a flashlight toward the dog, and not one but two dogs are seen lunging at the officer while he is on the porch as he is making his way to the neighbor’s house. The dogs continue to come at the officer, and eventually the dogs leave the yard, the officer’s video shows.

The cop then heads to Haley’s home, where he is met by a white pit bull, the officer’s video shows; the officer approaches the dog and starts kicking.

Audio was eliminated from the officer’s video to due language.

Haley posted on social media that her family spent hours looking for the dogs. She called the police just before 11 p.m. Monday to report someone may have been in the house and let the dogs out earlier. Police found nothing missing or any video showing an intruder. The white pit bull returned to the house early Tuesday morning. 

Police wrote the dog’s owner six tickets for counts of prohibited dangerous animals and not having the dogs restrained or immunized. 

Terre Haute police also say that in May 2020, a white pit bull at the same address bit an 11-year-old girl, and the owner was ticketed then for failure to restrain a dog resulting in an attack or bite. 

Police say they contacted the Haley family several times after the video was posted asking if they were interested in filing a complaint. They declined to do so.  

The owner of the dog was invited to see the police body camera video and declined the offer.

The Terre Haute Police Department has turned over all the video to the Vigo County Prosecutor’s Office.

The officer has been placed on administrative assignment duty. 

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