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SD police dog recovering after slashing

March 21, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
A San Diego police dog has been released from a veterinary hospital and is recuperating from being slashed with a knife by a man who had just killed his estranged wife, it was reported Saturday. Willard Anthony Bradley, 51, was shot and killed by police Friday as he cut a police dog named "Earp." The dog had been sent into a house in Paradise Hills where a woman had called 911 to report her estranged husband was trying to kill himself with a knife, San Diego police Lt. Terry McManus said.

Earp was released from the VCA Main Street Animal Hospital Friday evening and is recovering quickly, said Dr. Rob Tugend today.

The German shepherd had another check-up this morning and is doing well, veterinarian said.

"He was in good spirits," Tugend said.

Bradley's wife, whose name was being withheld, had filed a temporary restraining order against him on March 6, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported.

The couple had an 8-year-old child who lived at the house, where the violence occurred, the newspaper reported.

According to court papers, the woman alleged that her husband of four years threatened to kill her during an argument over a car lease and physically restrained her at times from getting help. Bradley had also been the target of a previous TRO filed by another woman in 1998, the Union-Tribune reported.

About 8:45 a.m. Friday, San Diego police got a 911 call from a woman in a house in the 6400 block of Lockford Avenue. She said her husband was threatening to kill himself.

"Shortly after her call to police, the line was disconnected, and communications personnel were unable to re-establish contact with the reporting party," he said.

Arriving officers spotted Bradley looking out a front window, holding a knife in his hand, McManus said.

When police reached the front door, Bradley shouted that he had killed his wife and would do the same to them, the lieutenant said.

The officers then "formulated a plan" to get inside, McManus said. Several of them went to the rear of the home and broke out windows as a distraction. When Bradley went to see what was happening, other officers went in the front door with a service dog.

Moments later, the German shepherd was on Bradley, who slashed and stabbed the dog, then made a move for the officers, prompting two of them to open fire, the lieutenant said.

A neighbor told KGTV he heard repeated shouts of "drop the knife" before four to six shots were fired.

Bradley died on the spot. His wife was found dead of apparent stab wounds in a back bedroom.

The dog, which nearly died, was taken to a veterinarian and given a transfusion while a neck wound was sewn up, Capt. Jim Collins said.

In 10 days, Tugend will remove Earp's stitches and will conduct a medical evaluation on the German shepherd to determine if he is ready to go back to work. Earp will then go through a temperament evaluation with police officials to determine if he is emotionally ready to go back to work after he was stabbed.


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