Uptown Puppy Shot By Police on the Mend But Has 'Issues'

By Adeshina Emmanuel on January 15, 2013 9:11am 

UPTOWN —  A puppy named Colonel who was shot by a Chicago police officer last month is in better health these days, but not in the best shape emotionally, owners said.

Barbara Phillips, one of the miniature bull terrier's owners, said that Colonel was headed to the vet Tuesday morning for a checkup.

Phillips said "the good news is he survived everything."

But there's bad news, too, she said.

"Thank God he can walk, but he's got issues. Noises scare the hell out of him," she said.

A recent shooting in the neighborhood caused him to "flip out," and "even the vacuum cleaner freaks him out," she said. Some dogs are put on edge by such sounds, but knowing her pup, she believes that Colonel's reactions are not characteristic of the dog he was before he was shot.

Barbara Phillips and her husband Al are suing the officer in federal court for damages related to the Dec. 1 shooting and an intimidating visit on Dec. 3 they say they got from two Town Hall District police officers peeved by media coverage.

One of the officers issued Al Phillips a ticket for having Colonel off his leash when he was shot, after the World Gym Chicago owners refused to stop talking to the media, according to the suit.

Erron Fisher, one of the family's attorneys, said the officer who shot Colonel is Gregory Pettigrew — not Brandon Pettigrew, as initially reported by DNAinfo.com and other news outlets.

Fisher said lawyers would be filing an amended complaint to reflect the correction this week.

Witnesses to the Dec. 1 shooting said that Pettigrew had been writing Al Phillips a parking ticket in front of the business owner's house in the 800 block of West Buena Avenue when Al Phillips left his home to try to talk his way out of the ticket.

Colonel ran out ahead of its master, not wearing a leash, and began sniffing around near Pettigrew — and that's when the officer screamed two warnings before quickly opening fire — and continuing to write the parking ticket, witnesses said.

Colonel endured nearly six hours of surgery after a bullet lodged in one of his paws and shrapnel pierced his belly.

The legal team recently appeared in court for the second ticket and filed a motion that would let them question, under oath, the officer who issued the "off-leash" ticket on Dec. 3 that they consider retaliation for the Phillips' publicizing of the shooting.

The request will go before an administrative hearing officer on Jan. 22, Fisher said.

The request, Fisher said, "seeks to exercise the most basic of rights; the right to confront one's accuser."

"Although we have requested, the city has not identified the person that issued this ticket," he said.

The Chicago Law Department could not be reached for comment.

Police are sending all questions about the incident to the Independent Police Review Authority, which has been investigating the shooting. IPRA spokesman Larry Merritt said Monday night that "there is no update" he could provide about the probe.

He said that legal cases usually take precedent over IPRA's investigations, and that investigators typically "pick up after the case is resolved."

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