dog-holding-gavel.jpgThe owner of Charlie, the Staffordshire terrier accused of an attack on a US Park Police horse, is fighting for his pet’s life after San Francisco’s Animal Care and Control’s vicious and dangerous dog unit has ordered the dog’s death.

According to Golden Gate National Recreation Area spokesperson Howard Levitt, a US Park Police Officer and his horse were on a routine patrol at Crissy Field on August 9 when Charlie, who was off-leash, attacked the horse, “biting the stomach, and locking on a rear leg,” Levitt said.

“The horse fell and the US Park Police Officer was thrown to the ground,” Levitt said.

According to Levitt, David Gizzarelli, Charile’s owner “was on scene, but did not bring the dog under control.”

After the attack, the horse ran towards its stable, with Charlie in pursuit, Levitt says.

Charlie “chased the horse around the stable and into the area to the south of the stable,” Levitt said.

A kick to the dog by the horse apparently threw Charlie off-course, and he wandered toward the Lincoln Blvd. underpass of Presidio Parkway.

Soon after, Gizzarelli arrived, along with the Vicious and Dangerous Dog Unit of SF’s Animal Care and Control, who promptly took possession of the dog.

Gizzarelli was then arrested, taken to the US Park Police Presidio Headquarters, and booked on several charges, including failure to maintain control of a dog and assault on a police officer.

The officer, who Levitt told the Ex was “badly bruised and shaken,” was treated at the scene by SFFD Emergency Medical personnel but was not hospitalized. The horse continues to be treated for its injuries.

At the time of the attack, Levett told KCBS the that horse “should recover but he was pretty chewed up.”

Now, as the Ex reports, in a hearing last week the ACC’s dog unit declared that Charlie should be destroyed.

The Ex reports that Gizzarelli is working to retain a lawyer, and hopes to file an injunction delaying Charlie’s sentence until his case can be heard by a court in SF.

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the author

Always in motion. April Siese writes about music, takes photos at shows, and even helps put them on behind the scenes as a stagehand. She's written everything from hard news to beauty features, as well as fiction and poetry. She most definitely likes pie.

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  • Awayneramsey

    David Gizzarelli only deserves to hear a Superior Court judge dismiss his plea. Gizzarelli could not control his dog. He admitted this. The outcome could have been much worse. Additionally, including vicious animals in ???recognition politics??? reminds me of an NPR news story some years ago in which a man who studied bears also maintained that he ???could master the bear.??? He was mauled to death by???a bear

  • Awayneramsey

    David Gizzarelli only deserves to hear a Superior Court judge dismiss his plea. Gizzarelli could not control his dog. He admitted this. The outcome could have been much worse. Additionally, including vicious animals in ???recognition politics??? reminds me of an NPR news story some years ago in which a man who studied bears also maintained that he ???could master the bear.??? He was mauled to death by???a bear

  • JMeyer

    Concerning the dog Charlie who was in an area designated for off-leash dogs, I would like to say that if that park cop rode his horse in an area of off-leash dogs, then one has to question his judgment and common sense. Did he think the horse wasn’t going to spook the dogs. That was an idiotic decision on his part and now they want to put the dog down? Another thing I’d like to know: How do they expect a dog owner who doesn’t have his dog on a leash to control the dog. The space is designated for dogs to run around and play. It is ludicrous that anyone who has any sense would ride a horse in that area. The report the police gave the public is untrue. At one point in your newscast the police claimed to give the dog back to the owner…that is not true. And I also wonder what do they think it would accomplish by giving the dog to another owner. It seems they just want to punish the owner. The cop got what he asked for and in my estimation should be relieved of his duties for having no better judgement than he exercised by riding the horse into the designated DOG area. What was the reason he gave for making such a poor decision? I thought San Francisco was a progressive city, but obviously they do not train their park cops very well, if at all. The country, and even the world is watching to see what the ruling is on this case. I feel certain that a good and reasonable judge has better decision making capabilities than the cop exhibited, and that he will release Charlie to his owner, which should have already been done. It certainly appears as if the park police are power playing in this instance and Charlie’s life is hanging in the balance. Dogs are members of our families, who love unconditionally and will protect their owners if they sense danger. The park police are exaggerating the severity of the horse’s injuries….don’t be fooled by their rhetoric. THE COUNTRY IS WATCHING!!

    PS Since when did a Staffordshire Terrier become a Pit Bull? Just saying….

  • JMeyer

    Concerning the dog Charlie who was in an area designated for off-leash dogs, I would like to say that if that park cop rode his horse in an area of off-leash dogs, then one has to question his judgment and common sense. Did he think the horse wasn’t going to spook the dogs. That was an idiotic decision on his part and now they want to put the dog down? Another thing I’d like to know: How do they expect a dog owner who doesn’t have his dog on a leash to control the dog. The space is designated for dogs to run around and play. It is ludicrous that anyone who has any sense would ride a horse in that area. The report the police gave the public is untrue. At one point in your newscast the police claimed to give the dog back to the owner…that is not true. And I also wonder what do they think it would accomplish by giving the dog to another owner. It seems they just want to punish the owner. The cop got what he asked for and in my estimation should be relieved of his duties for having no better judgement than he exercised by riding the horse into the designated DOG area. What was the reason he gave for making such a poor decision? I thought San Francisco was a progressive city, but obviously they do not train their park cops very well, if at all. The country, and even the world is watching to see what the ruling is on this case. I feel certain that a good and reasonable judge has better decision making capabilities than the cop exhibited, and that he will release Charlie to his owner, which should have already been done. It certainly appears as if the park police are power playing in this instance and Charlie’s life is hanging in the balance. Dogs are members of our families, who love unconditionally and will protect their owners if they sense danger. The park police are exaggerating the severity of the horse’s injuries….don’t be fooled by their rhetoric. THE COUNTRY IS WATCHING!!

    PS Since when did a Staffordshire Terrier become a Pit Bull? Just saying….