By JASON COX
Of the Keizertimes

A Keizer Police officer shot and killed a pit bull Thursday night after it lunged at him during a domestic assault call, authorities said Friday.

Several officers responded to the 1300 block of Country Glen Avenue NE at about 8:48 p.m. Thursday after a neighbor heard a man and woman screaming, particularly the woman saying, “you’re choking me.”

Upon responding officers found a woman with “visible injuries” to her neck and chest, and a pant leg was shredded. She said her ex-husband had attacked her while the pit bull bit at her leg.

L. DaRouse

The ex-husband, who was eventually arrested for five counts of strangulation and one felony count of domestic assault, closed the dog in a bedroom with the female victim’s one-year-old child after it threatened a police officer, said Keizer Police Capt. Jeff Kuhns.

Authorities said the suspect assaulted the victim in front of their four-year-old son.

When the victim went to let the dog out of the child’s room it became fixated on Officer Rodney Bamford, Kuhns said. Both the victim and Bamford tried to control the dog, including letting it out into the back yard, it kept baring its teeth and growling at Bamford, Kuhns said.

Bamford tried to distance himself, Kuhns said, by placing an ottoman between him and the dog. But he shot the dog once in the head as it lunged over the ottoman at him. Two other officers deployed Tasers at the dog almost simultaneously. The dog died immediately.

“Keizer Police Department policy allows for the use of deadly force to stop a dangerous animal which reasonably appears to pose an imminent threat to the safety of an officer or another person,” Kuhns said.

Police said the man arrested was LaNell E. DaRouse, 31, who had been staying at the address.