SAN DIEGO (CN) - San Diego police officers working undercover broke into the wrong family's back yard in an alleged drug raid and shot the family dog to death, the family says. The officers prevented the owner, who is black, from comforting the dying animal, then knocked the man to the ground, handcuffed him and tried to book him on bogus charges of failing to restrain his dog, and possession of a vicious animal, according to the federal complaint.
Plaintiff Demarkcus Peeples lives with his mother in the house that San Diego cops raided. The cops wore jeans and T-shirts without anything to identify them as police officers, according to the complaint.
Peeples says the house the cops intended to raid is across the street. He says the officers entered the back yard of his home, and after realizing that no one would open the back door, they retreated to the front yard and left the back gate open.
The Peeples' friendly little American Staffordshire Terrier, Egypt, ran out the back door and into the front yard through the open gate. The officers shot it several times and wounded it.
Peeples says the cops wouldn't let him near his dying animal, but knocked him down and handcuffed him and took him to the county jail, where they tried to book him on bogus charges.
He says the cops were "investigating a report of two blond, white males who may have been involved in narcotic activity" at another address.
Peeples says officers at the jail refused to book him. Egypt's corpse was released to him after being euthanized.
Peeples seeks punitive damages for illegal search and seizure, battery, negligence and false arrest. He is represented by Michael Marrinan.
Read the Top 8
Sign up for the Top 8, a roundup of the day's top stories delivered directly to your inbox Monday through Friday.