Coast News Grover Beach

Charges Filed in Fatal Dog Attack Case

The San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office has filed charges against a former Grover Beach police officer whose dog attacked and killed someone.

The DA’s Office filed two felony charges against Alex Paul Geiger alleging that he failed to maintain control of a dangerous animal on December 13, 2016 that led to the death of 64-yer-old David W. Fear and serious bodily injury to 86-year-old Betty J. Long.

Specifically, the complaint alleges that “Geiger had custody and control of a dangerous animal; that he knew that the animal was dangerous; that he failed to use ordinary care in keeping the animal; and that the animal killed Fear and caused serious bodily injury to Long.”

An arrest warrant has been requested for Geiger and a court date will be set after Geiger has been booked at the San Luis Obispo County Jail.

This is the first known case within San Luis Obispo County where a dog mauling has led to the death of an individual. However, since 2003 the DA has filed 5 cases involving dog mauling that caused serious bodily injury. Those cases resulted in 5 misdemeanor convictions.

The maximum punishment for the charges filed against Geiger is 3 years and 8 months in prison.

The City of Grover Beach released the following statement: “The City of Grover Beach is aware of the District Attorney’s Office determination to file charges against Mr. Alex Geiger in the dog attack incident that caused the death of Mr. David Fear and the injury to Ms. Betty Long. Mr. Geiger resigned as a police officer on February 1 and is no longer employed by the City of Grover Beach. The City continues to express its condolences to the family of Mr. Fear and wishes Ms. Betty Long a speedy recovery.”

The criminal complaint is the result of an investigation conducted by the DA’s Office. The case was referred by the San Luis Obispo County Animal Services Division on December 29, 2016.

Geiger’s dog, a Belgian Malinois, was euthanized after the incident.

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