Atwater man holds police at bay in standoff over pit bull

An Atwater Village man who feared his pit bull was going to be taken away is in custody tonight after he threatened a utility worker with an assault rifle, prompting the evacuation of neighbors during an approximately three-hour-long stand off with police.

The incident began at about noon when a pit bull owner on Casitas Avenue near Fletcher Drive  apparently mistook a gas company employee  for an animal control service officer intent on taking away the dog, said Lt. Mike Menza with the Northeast Division. That’s when the pit bull owner threatened the utility worker with an AK-47 rifle.

The utility worker called for help, and police responded by closing off nearby streets and calling in the SWAT team to surround the man’s home.  The standoff  ended at about 2:30 p.m. without any shots fired after the dog owner surrendered, Menza said. Police recovered the rifle and ammunition.

Police had told The Eastsider earlier in the day that incident began after a DWP worker who had come to turn off power at the Casitas Avenue residence  had been threatened, based on preliminary information.  It’s not clear what kind of service call the gas company employee was making.



  1. Not a hipster

  2. It’s scary that someone so psycho can own a dog that can be trained to be violent and attack, let alone a friggin’ gun!

  3. Pitbull-AK 47 what’s the difference…?

  4. i know this guy personally and i know that he is not a meth addict like alijill said he is not a psycho like lauren thinks. He is just a normal guy. I have to talked to him about what happened and he explained to me that the gas company employees threatened to violently subdue his dog because they were trying to shut off his gas. If someone threatened my dog i would have reacted the same way, my dog is a part of my family. Another thing is he didnt have a pitbull his dog was nice wouldnt even hurt a cat.

    • I guess I’ll take you word for it (?), but would you not draw the same conclusion based on the story above? And since you know him, why the hell does anyone own an Ak-47??

      Re. subduing his dog, do you think there’s any possibility his dog was behaving in a threatening manor toward the Gas Company employee? This story doesn’t add up…

      • The Eastsider is only telling us what they want us to know and because of that I would draw the same conclusion. But since I do know him the article cant fool me. As for the Ak-47 it isn’t illegal to own one every one has a right to bear arms as long as you don’t have any prior felony charges. It is the second amendment in the U.S. constitution. The gun could have been used for hunting or maybe just for sport it could have even been a collectible. Anyone can walk into a gun store and purchase an Ak-47. Maybe the gas company employees got scared of the dog because it growls at people but i know for a fact the dog is harmless.

        • Seriously? An AK-47 for hunting? In Los Angeles? That’s flipping crazy! And if the utility worker needed for him to subdue his dog, he should have taken it into the house or something. Pitbull + AK-47 does NOT go a long way for sympathy in my book.

          • It is extremely difficult to purchase an AK-47 (even more so in California) If this was an AK-47 (meaning it had a full-automatic option), it was almost certainly obtained illegally. More likely, it was a semi-automatic rifle based on the AK-47 design. I guess the standoff sounds more dramatic if we imagine a DWP worker facing down a pitbull and a paratrooper from Red Dawn. As to why someone would own one, I like quoting Krusty the Clown:
            1. Family Protection
            2. Hunting Dangerous and delicious animals
            3. Keeping the King of England out of your face.

      • AK-47’s can be perfectly legal weapons that are fun to shoot (http://www.atlanticfirearms.com/storeproduct767.aspx). Why the hell do girls own high heeled shoes, those spikes could put someone’s eye out!

        Also, my dog has the right to behave threateningly to anyone in our yard.

  5. And the AK 47 part of the story?

  6. i just got this awesome mental picture of some unhinged guy hunting with an AK47, screaming at a deer while he shoots wildly at it (since he never makes it to the shooting range). there’s a pit bull off to the side, waiting for the signal to finish the deer off after the “hunter” sprays it with bullets. he then loads it into a boosted DWP van and drives it home.

  7. Haha they were shutting off his gas and he has a pit bull and an ak47 don’t be a stereo type get a job sell the dog and the ak to pay your gas bill and don’t be a douche.
    Or just move out of our neighborhood .

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