On December 20th, a police dog was put down in Bristol after it attacked an officer while they were looking for a suspect in connection with a burglary.
When Bristol police officers Greg Blackinton and Brian Aleia responded to a report of a burglary on Sims Road, the incident that took place there occurred. Bosco, a member of Blackinton’s K-9 unit, was dispatched through the front door of the house to conduct a search for the suspect, who was believed to still be inside the residence. After going through the house, Bosco exited through the sliding glass door located in the back, where Aleia was hiding in a crouching position. After biting the officer on the leg and letting him go, Bosco turned around and appeared to be heading back into the house. However, he suddenly stopped and turned around once more, charging Aleia. The K-9’s handler, Blackinton, was still standing by the entrance, but he was unable to get the dog to leave. In order to put an end to the K-9, Aleia had to fire a shotgun. Even though he was taken to a local veterinarian, Bosco was pronounced dead at the scene.
It was reported that Bosco was in an aggressive mode while he was tracking the suspect inside the house. When he exited the home through the back door, he saw a person, and because he was still in an aggressive mode, he attacked them as he had been taught to do. Nobody was aware that the back door was propped open.
A short time later, the suspect was discovered sitting in his vehicle outside of a convenience store, where he had attempted to steal items from the store’s shelves. Zachary Girardin was found to be in possession of a handgun with a caliber of.38, which was one of the two firearms that were reported stolen from the residence on Sims Road. Girardin was charged with reckless endangerment in the first degree, criminal attempt to commit sixth-degree larceny, carrying a pistol without a permit, possession of controlled substances, and breach of peace in the second degree. Because his actions did not directly cause Bosco’s death, he was not charged with the killing of the police dog and the case was dropped. An investigation is being conducted into the shooting of the K-9 in accordance with the general orders that are followed whenever an officer fires a weapon that results in injury or death.
Blackinton and Bosco had been working together as a team for close to three years at this point. During that time, they had been a part of a number of successful drug raids and other police operations. As a result of the passing of his partner, Blackinton was allowed to take some time off from work.
On the 23rd of December, the auditorium of Bristol Eastern High School played host to a memorial service that was open to the public in honor of Bosco. After the event, the residents of the city, the surrounding towns, and other law enforcement agencies sent an outpouring of love, condolences, and concerns to the city’s police department. A large number of people are interested in assisting. In lieu of sending flowers, the department has requested that contributions be made to the Bristol Police Dog Fund. Donations can be mailed to the Bristol Police Department at 131 North Main Street, Bristol.
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