An Idaho man is grieving the loss of his 2-year-old lab after a Coeur d'Alene police officer confused the pup for a more aggressive dog. Craig Jones of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, parked his van Wednesday morning while he ate breakfast at a nearby restaurant, KREM-TV, Spokane, Washington, reported. He left his black lab Arfie in the van with the windows partially cracked as he dined.
A coffee shop owner called police to report a suspicious white van in the area and an officer was sent to investigate, the report said. The caller reportedly believed the vehicle could be the one identified in a recent child luring incident in the area.
When the officer arrived on the scene, he walked up to Jones' van with his gun drawn, Coeur d’Alene police officials said, adding the officer suspected the driver might have been watching children in the area.
Once he reached the partially open driver’s side of the van, the officer said he became frightened when Arfie lunged at his face. He initially thought the dog was a pit bull and fired a single bullet into the pup’s chest. The dog later died from his wound.
Jones says he is devastated by the loss of his pet and he plans to pursue charges against the officer.
"This cop left a hole in both [of us] that can't be fixed," Jones said in a post on Facebook. "If it wasn't for my desire to face him in court and strip him of his badge, I would probably be at the bottom of the lake."
He also told KREM his dog had no way of knowing who the officer was when he looked out the van window.
"If my dog is barking and wondering who's peering through the windows, he doesn't care if you're a cop, an attorney, or President Bush. He doesn't know any different," Jones told KREM.
Police department officials said the officer was upset following the incident. They added the child predator for whom they were searching has yet to be captured. The suspect is believed driving a white van that looks like Jones’ vehicle.