7/28/2006Pennsylvania: Constable Kills Seven Dogs Over Parking Tickets
Pennsylvania constables shoot and kill two family dogs and five puppies over thirty-two parking tickets.
A lawsuit will proceed in U.S. District Court on November 6 over a May 8, 2003 incident where Pennsylvania Constables Richard Seeds, 41, Greg Balliet and Vincent Stahl fired eleven shots killing two dogs and five puppies while serving an arrest warrant for unpaid parking tickets in an Allentown home. The officials were after Jeremiah Hartman who had been accused of not paying thirty-two parking tickets that accumulated on a vehicle that had broken down while Hartman did not have the money to pay for repairs.
The constables knocked on the door of a friend's home at 312 South Franklin Street where Hartman was at the time. Suzanne Klein answered. The constables asked her whether she had dogs and whether she would secure them. She said she would. Without warning, Seeds entered through a back door. The first dog to run down the stairs to investigate, a boxer named Wizard, crumpled to the ground after being shot once. Seeds then proceeded to shoot the wounded animal a second time in the head, according to the family's account given to the Allentown City Council.
Two other dogs then ran upstairs and were fired upon by Balliet in the kitchen. Topanga, a pregnant pit bull, was wounded by two bullets and lost five puppies. The owner was left with $2000 in veterinary bills. The third dog was killed. Three adults and three infants were in the home at the time, all within ten feet of the shooting.
In October, Judge James Knoll Gardner allowed the prosecution to let the jury know that just before the incident, Seeds told his colleagues, "I have to get something to eat or I am going to shoot somebody."