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Bad doggie!

I've never been a fan of pit bulls, and it's a pretty common sentiment. In fact, in Boston, like many places, it's illegal to have a pit bull in public unless it's muzzled. That didn't stop one guy, who thought it would be just grand to take his un-muzzled Gabriel into the city -- in fact, to Downtown Crossing, one of the biggest subway stops in the city.

Some nervous people called the police, and told Brian Schwab that it just wasn't appropriate. He grew belligerent, reportedly even hitting the officers. But he really blew it when he let go of Gabriel's leash and sicced him on the cops.

Both officers were bitten, and they pulled their guns. Two shots were fired, one hitting Gabriel in the head. The dog, bleeding, fled, and was caught some distance away.

A lot of people are upset that Gabriel might be destroyed, including several of Schwab's friends and family. After all, all the dog did was attack two police officers and survive a gunshot to the head. That doesn't sound too dangerous, does it?

Comments (30)

"A lot" of people are upset... (Below threshold)

"A lot" of people are upset? It sounds like the only people who are upset are this guys friends. And based on this guys personality, he probably only has one friend.

All the dog did was ... wha... (Below threshold)

All the dog did was ... what he was bred to do. The only animal in this story who deserves to be destroyed is Brian Schwab. When he set his dog on the police, he had to have known that it would end in Gabriel being put down, but he did it anyway. Evil [insert expletive here].

(I'm of the opinion that pit bulls are less than ideal pets, as it is hardwired into them to be violent. No matter how well-trained they are, it is unfair to expect them to go against their instincts. But if someone insists on keeping a dangerous dog as a pet, then that person must take more responsibility if that dangerous dog attacks a person that if it was, say, a chihuahua or a pug.)

Pitbulls aren't hardwired t... (Below threshold)

Pitbulls aren't hardwired to be mean. That's a myth. Growing up the "evil dogs that ought to be killed" where Doberman's, German Shepherds and Rottweilers. The "evil" breed just changes every so many years. The press jumps on the bandwagon and soon all you here are anecdotes of vicious dogs. So your asshole jerk goes out and buys a big, muscular dog and trains him to kill. It's the owner not the dog. I agree that once a dog is trained to be an attack dog and does attack it should be destroyed. Before pitbulls it was rottweilers and before them Shepards and before them Doberman's.

No one runs a story about the nice pitbull who came up and licked me and played catch with a ball. Who would care?

They are bred to be strong and muscular, but so are many other breeds.

Dogs are trained to be mean by their owners or in some cases not trained to behave in the "pack". If pitbulls were so ideal at the job then please show me the most popular breeds for guard dogs and K9 units?

Only breed of dog I've ever met where nearly 100% of them appeared to be completly vicious and would bite anyone at the drop of the hat are pomeranians. My wife has one and I hate that dog. Mean as shit and so has every one I've ever met. But they are cute so people forgive them...

Don't buy into the hype.

I've been attacked by pit b... (Below threshold)

I've been attacked by pit bulls, one was a puppy.
I've been hunted by a Mastiff. Why? I went to get my mail at the box was all. I had to get the neighborhood involved in getting rid of the people who kept the dogs. They weren't licensed or insured. The cops wouldn't do anything, until I wrote to the local papers...finally they cleared the crack dealers out of my neighborhood.
Coinky dink I think not?

I have to agree with Faith+... (Below threshold)

I have to agree with Faith+1. Pits aren't "hardwired to be mean," but their aggressive nature needs to be corralled when they are being trained while pups. I sometimes help out a friend of mine who trains dogs, and he always gets requests from people to train pit bulls for security purposes (like junk yards, etc.) and he refuses because, as he puts it, "you can't trust them to know when to turn it (agression) off. Once that genie's out of the bottle you can't ever trust that dog again."

I'm also on faith+1's side ... (Below threshold)

I'm also on faith+1's side that pits bulls aren't genetically mean. But it must be noted that great care must be taken. When a pit goes off it does have the genetic heritage to inflict great damage.
And I'm not surprised to hear that of Pomeranians. The little dogs can be the nastiest pieces of work in dogdom (though *pugs* are sweet and gentle and friendly and loving of course). Chihuahuas are the most truculent little goobers ever.

Agreed, Faith+1I h... (Below threshold)

Agreed, Faith+1

I have owned several pits and they are one of the most loyal, playful and gentle breeds I've had the pleasure of encountering. Yes, they are generally muscular and powerful and that trait is often exploited by idiots with nefarious goals. However, if you are looking for a loyal companion for your family, do yourself a favor and get a pit PUPPY from a reputable breeder.

A properly trained (and loved) pitbull is less dangerous than a poorly trained, abused poodle.

Anyone who insists on portraing ALL pitbulls as out of control killing machines is simply willfully ignorant.

I have to add that I always... (Below threshold)

I have to add that I always have my dog on a leash, and not just because she's a pit.

My dog is extremely obedient, playful and shows almost no aggression outside of the normal light barking when someone knock on the door, etc.

We can be playing HARD, with her zipping all over the place, seemingly out of control, and with a literal snap of my fingers she will stop WHATEVER she is doing and calmly sit down and wait to see what she's supposed to do. No, this obedience wasn't achieved through punishment, it was achieved through consistant training with tons of praise.

I would be *much* more leery of letting my child around a well-trained Chow, Pom or German Shep than I would a well-trained pit, as pits just don't have the predisposition to be "snappy" like a lot of other breeds, especially when they're well trained and socialized.

I agree that not everyone should have a pit, as they can, in some circumstances, be turned into aggressive, dangerous animals in the wrong hands. Make potential owners get a special license or whatever, but don't apply a wholesale indictment to the entire breed.

Heh, a good topic for me.</... (Below threshold)

Heh, a good topic for me.

I grew up with a female German Shepherd/Doberman mix ed dog. Best damn dog I ever met. She was loyal to a fault, and my mother trained her so that she never, ever snapped at or attacked a child. Heck, we had a toddler in the house once who followed her around screaming "Oggie!" (doggie) and pulled her tail every chance he got. She would just hide somewhere and when he found her move on again. Never snapped, never barked, never bit or scratched.

Some people think G. Shepherds are mean because they will nip your feet. What part of "shepherd" didn't you get? That dog used to try to "herd" us as kids. We used to sit on our Power Wheels trikes at the top of the sidewalk, and that dog would grab our feet and pull us all the way down the hill. It didn't hurt - she was trying to herd us. Such a sweet, loving dog that died way too young (neighbor poisoned her, that bastard!).

I currenly own a doberman. Second best dog I've ever owned after the aformentioned mix. I can play with her quite hard - games like Slap and stuff - and she might be a bit rough. All I have to do is say "be nice" and she stops. Just like that. It's like she has an on/off switch. She loves people, but even so I wouldn't want to be a thief breaking into this house. She has a nice balance.

My gram had a rottweiler that was the same way. She was a good dog.

Pits are the same way. My brother-in-law loves them and is looking into buying one. He hates most dogs, but he likes the "fiercest" ones - pits and my dobie.

To be honest, I'm far more scared of little dogs than I am big ones. You can't trust those tiny bastards for a second. My friend has a chihauha that hates everybody but her and will attack me in a heartbeat. Poodles are mean little brats, too.

With dogs, it's the raising that matters most, not so much the breed (though the quality of the breeding might play a part).

The guy sicced the dog on t... (Below threshold)

The guy sicced the dog on the cops?

Destroy the dog. Prosecute the owner to the fullest extent of the law.

Case closed.

In my experience, dogs are ... (Below threshold)

In my experience, dogs are very much individuals, with personalities that vary widely even among the same breed. It is hard to say what an individual dog will do, and any dog can surprise you.

What I do believe is that we are responsible for the actions of our dog. If you can't live up to that, don't have a dog.

I'm with moseby - if the facts are anywhere near what is described, charges might include assault with a deadly weapon, or even attempted murder.

Why dont they get PETA to v... (Below threshold)
spurwing plover:

Why dont they get PETA to vouch for the dog we all know how rediclous PETA gets when it comes to animal issues a turkey is more intellegent then any of those PETA idiots

what JT hasn't mentioned is... (Below threshold)
I know the truth:

what JT hasn't mentioned is that he knows a pit mix who not only is gentle, but cute, with the complete expression of devoted behavior, and who is alert but not viscious, and often comments to me on how well she releases her victims on command ( umm ok that last part may not make sense out of context)

I'm going to call BS on Liz... (Below threshold)

I'm going to call BS on Lizzie, and agree with Faith, BlogDog and TC et al.
I've got an American Staffordshire, and he is the most gentle and loving dog I have ever owned (I've had pointers, labs, collies, husky and german sheps). The pits that are "evil" have been broken by their owners to be fighters and attackers.
But Staffies by their nature are very human centric and bond easily to people. In the UK, they are called Nanny-dogs, because they are so very good with children. Mine, Fibber McGee, adores children, and loves being hooked into a harness to pull sleds and wagons. Remember, the RCA dog and Pete from the Little Rascals were Staffies :)
However, at 80lbs, Fibber McGee is no teacup poodle. He can jump a 4 foot fence from a sit, and bursts tennis balls fresh from the can in under 5 minutes. Pits are muscular, athletic and very, very determined. When they set their mind on something, they are very hard to distract or deter. They are terriers, after all!
This, of course, makes them very formidable fighters and companions, and it does take a steady hand when they are being raised. But their native intelligence and eagerness to please makes this a very easy task for someone who can behave as the alpha dog.
Honestly, my husky and pointer were much more trouble, and much more threatening to take out and about, though I doubt they could do as much damage as McGee if he ever chose to.

Dogs, just like people are ... (Below threshold)

Dogs, just like people are products of their environment. Unfortunately for this dog, he got the wrong owner. Hopefully this guy gets locked up and is never allowed another dog.

And I know everyone has their 'breed' but give me a mutt anyday!

If you want to be nervous a... (Below threshold)

If you want to be nervous about a canine attack, try being stalked for a couple of miles in the woods on a new snow by a pair of coyotes. Thank God it was deer season and I wasn't carrying my bow.

Once again, I agree SCSI - ... (Below threshold)

Once again, I agree SCSI - I had a Jack Russell terrier who was WAY harder to handle than any of the pits I've owned, and by a fair margain.

Mine is a 65 Lb. wuss who can scare the bejeezus outta ya. 8 )

SCSIwuzzy, don't "call BS o... (Below threshold)

SCSIwuzzy, don't "call BS on" me- I've owned both pit bulls and Staffs in my time. (One pit bull and two Staffs, proper ones, not American ones.) I loved them very dearly, FYI, and I was absolutely inconsolable when Molly, one of the Staffs, died two years ago. But I would never have, for example, let them loose around children or unknown dogs in the park, just in case.

When I was very young, a friend of mine (who was seven at the time) was attacked by her neighbour's dog, who was a pit bull cross. He'd been acquainted with her since she was a baby, and at her neighbour's garden party, she petted him, and all of a sudden he decided he didn't like it, and attacked her (his owners were horrified, he'd been the perfect pet up until then; he was destroyed the following weekend). She had a lot of reconstructive surgery on her upper lip and to this day, when someone meets her they usually assume she was born with a cleft palate. (It was actually a pretty big story locally.)

Anyway, I'd like to repeat my point from my first post that the only animal who deserves punishment is the owner. There is no way that when he sicced his dog on those cops he didn't know that the dog would end up dead one way or another. He doesn't deserve a pet.

The guy sicced the dog on t... (Below threshold)
bob jones:

The guy sicced the dog on the cops?

Shoot the dog. Shoot the owner.

Case closed.

I can actually see both sid... (Below threshold)
Cardinals Nation:

I can actually see both sides of this issue, but I have to come down on Lizzie's side. Dogs and their owners don't live in a vacuum; they live among all of us and the safety of all of us has primacy over the "right" of the owner to keep a dog that is breed to maximize violent characteristics.
Yes, yes, I know; for every "bad" dog of a breed I point to someone out there can show me 10 or 100 "good" dogs of the same breed. Fine. But whose 4 year old are we going to use to test the theory? Yours? Mine? Or do we have to wait until a pit bull attacks to take action? Well, if that's your position, don't ever argue that Bush was correct in taking out Saddam before he could harm us...it's the same thing.

While I do not think any br... (Below threshold)

While I do not think any breed of dog is genetically hard-wired to be viscious, some of the more muscular ones surely can do more damage. No bad dogs, just bad owners who should give the extra care and responsibiklity some of the more assertive breeds require.

Cops should have aimed for the owner instead of the dog who was only obeying his master. The owner knew the dog would be shot and didn't care. He should be punished and forbidden to ever own a dog again. Any normal healthy dog of any breed can be taught to be obedient and gentle. Too bad some humans can't. Just think of what the dog went through to be made so viscious. Once in a while any breed can have an aggressive pup. I have had an aggressive Yorkie! But the owner is still responsible for the dog's behavior and any and everything the dog does.

There is a lot of judge and... (Below threshold)

There is a lot of judge and jurors out there flapping their jaws. What happened to innocent till proven guilty?

I know if I had an animal that I loved and cared about, I would NEVER let the dog loose on cops, who would surely kill the animal.

A little FYI

To Bob Jones,He si... (Below threshold)

To Bob Jones,

He sicced the dog on the cops? Theat's a question not a conviction by a court of law.
Slander to you? Take your rights away. Throw you in jail!

Case closed. Is that the kind of Justice system you want. How do you KNOW what happened were you there?

Let's shoot you for being closed minded and unjust. They have names for people like you.

I knew the owner a... (Below threshold)

I knew the owner and the dog, both of whom I didn't care for. The owner was homeless, the dog was extremely protective. I heard the owner told the cops that if they back off and let him calm the dog down. Instead the cops grabbed the dog's owner and that's when they got bit.

Maybe if the officers knew how to handle a situation like this they would not have been bitten.

The about the owner "unleashing" the dog on the cops is the cops story. I don't like what happened either.

I think that there are far too many incidents regarding pit bull bites. Something needs to be done.

We are friends of Brian A... (Below threshold)
Sean& Angela:

We are friends of Brian And, it upsets me to see
how easily the news can influence the public. The Dog was all Brian had, He was homeless because he choose to be with the dog on the street rather than give his dog up, and stay with me or other family. Police say he "sicced" the dog on them, (so it must be true).
Did anyone read the part about the police beating brians face to a pulp? or chipping his tooth. Who was at the crime scene to "inform" the news reporter....oh the police..
My question is who really was attacked, Brian Or the Police? I know one thing, The police are home now enjoying coffee and crumbcake, Brians in jail, and his dog has a bullet in her head.

Thats justice!?

If you knew the whole story... (Below threshold)
Christine Schwab:

If you knew the whole story, you would realize that the dog attacked the cops after they grabbed Brian, and he tried to hold the dog back who broke loose and still did not bite until Brian was manhandled. Wow, what a bad dog! Why do you think people were chanting "Don't kill the dog?"

-Brian's sister

Everyboy on this w... (Below threshold)

Everyboy on this website seems to have been there at the Downtown Crossing incident.

I know the owner, who has exhibited nothing short of caring and respecr for dogs and children.

THe problem is the breed of dog, or many dogs for that matter can't distinguish who to attack at the aid of his master.

I the past, the owner used the leash, a quick snap, and grabbed the dog at the collar, to control her. It always worked. My opinion is the police went to arrest the owner, and the dog went to protect him.

Since there are so many incidents regarding Pit Bulls, how about a protocal for allegedly viscious animals, so that NO ONE gets Bit.

Maybe we need to respect the Pit Bull for its natural potentially harmful behavior towards humans.

Eric, Christine, one questi... (Below threshold)
Jay Tea:

Eric, Christine, one question:

Just what was the guy doing, having the dog in a crowded place like Downtown Crossing without being muzzled, as required by law?


He and the dog were both ho... (Below threshold)

He and the dog were both homeless. I don't know if he was aware of the muzzle law, but I know I wasn't. This man has no money and no place to live. I do know that he was working hard at trying to get his life together.

I DO know that this same owner of the dog, who had nothing but was on his back, last winter gave an old man his ONLY pair of gloves, the owner thouoght the old man needed more.

I don't feel a person of that compassion would "SIC" his dog (whom he LOVED) more than his own comfort, would want to cause injury to someone else, especially when he know his dog would surely be shot.

I just don't get it!

Adam, Judging from the fact... (Below threshold)
Christine Schwab:

Adam, Judging from the fact that you don't know Brian or the dog, and don't seem to have much interest on the subject, and STILL actually found this web site and wasted your time commenting on it, I would guess that you are a person of no life and little friends. Just thought I would add that.






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