From the Saginaw News of June 25, 2009
Neighborhood watch president shoots, kills dog; its owner disputes the need
Tensions are high on a Saginaw street where the neighborhood watch president shot and killed his neighbor's dog.
Jose Barajas, Southwest Saginaw Neighborhood Association president, told police he shot Onyx, a 50-plus-pound pit bull and shar-pei mix, with a 40-caliber Glock after the dog broke its chain and charged him at 1223 Maple on June 18.
Barajas said he was working outside the house next door when he heard a resident crying for help. Diana M. Fick, 52, said she was mowing her backyard about 7:30 p.m. when neighbor Samantha A. Griffus' dog lunged at her. Fick said Onyx perched atop the tailgate shell and jumped off toward her, breaking his chain. She said she screamed for the owner and used the lawnmower as a buffer to keep the dog at bay.
Griffus didn't hear her, but Barajas did. When the dog turned on him, he said he shot it two times.
Barajas "didn't have an option," Fick said "He popped him."
Griffus, 19, said the dog was on a 10-foot chain attached to a tailgate shell on the lawn. She said Barajas had no right to shoot her dog because it hadn't left her property.
Splatters of the dog's blood are still on the tailgate shell, Griffus said. She said she thinks Onyx was chained when Barajas shot him and broke the chain afterward. A few weeks ago, Barajas had threatened to "shoot the dog if it pooped in his yard again," Griffus said.
Barajas has a permit to carry a concealed weapon and often patrols his neighborhood as part of its watch group.
Saginaw police investigated and cleared Barajas.
"If I wouldn't have been there, that neighbor would have likely gone to the hospital," he said.
Griffus went onto her porch overlooking the area where Onyx was chained after hearing the gunshots and her dog "yarp." Onyx had run off; Barajas was standing in her yard, his cell phone to his ear, with his gun visible in its holster, she said.
Barajas is "the greatest guy you ever want to meet," Fick said. "It's not like he just goes around the neighborhood shooting dogs."
Wounded in the face and abdomen, Onyx ran toward the front of the home, approached the front door -- where blood stains remain on the concrete steps of the porch -- and ran across the street. Griffus found him in a neighbor's kennel with the chain still clipped to his collar, Griffus said.
She took it to Great Lakes Pet Emergencies in Carrollton Township but returned with the dog because she couldn't afford the $1,275 bill to treat it or $289 to euthanize it. Onyx died at 11:30 p.m.