North Augusta police officer shoots aggressive pit bull

A North Augusta Public Safety officer shot a pit bull after it charged a 74-year-old woman who was walking her dog through a residential neighborhood Thursday.

A woman whose cat was cornered in a tree by a white pit bull called police to her home in the 100 block of Oakland Drive. Officer Michael Strauss responded at about 4:15 p.m.

The pit bull is owned by Antoinette Mealing, who also lives in the 100 block of the street, according to a North Augusta Public Safety incident report.

The cat owner was distraught and crying, Strauss wrote in the report. She told police that she tried to help her cat out of the tree when the dog approached “aggressively” and “in a threatening manner.” She took cover in her car and called police, according to the report.

By the time Strauss arrived, the dog had taken off. He told the woman he needed to find and secure the dog. He got into his vehicle when he spotted the dog down the street through the passenger-side mirror.

When the officer started his vehicle, the dog took off in a full sprint toward Sharron Edwards, 74, who was walking her small, black dog on the opposite side of the street, according to the report.

Strauss drove his vehicle between Edwards and the dog, but the pit bull ran around toward Edwards. Its hair stood up on the back of its neck, and the dog was showing its teeth and growling.

“The dog was clearly attempting to injure the small black dog,” Strauss wrote in the report.

Edwards moved to avoid being bit, and the officer yelled, “No!” while grabbing the pit bull by the collar to allow Edwards to get away.

The dog then turned its head, showed its teeth and opened its mouth, according to the report. Strauss let go of the dog and fired one shot into its back. It retreated into the woods and Strauss notified the public safety office of the incident.

Edwards was not injured. The pit bull, which did not have proper identification on its collar, was taken to emergency care. Its condition is unknown.

Charges are pending following further investigation, according to the North Augusta Public Safety office.

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