K-9 Officer Police Dog Bosco Will be Missed

By Tamara Sevigny

A police dog was killed in Bristol after attacking an officer during the search for a burglary suspect on December 20th.

The incident occurred when officers Greg Blackinton and Brian Aleia responded to a burglary call on Sims Road in Bristol. Blackinton sent his K-9 unit, Bosco, into the residence through the front door to search for the suspect, thought to still be in the home. Bosco went through the home and out a rear sliding glass door where Aleia was waiting in a crouched position. Bosco bit the officer on the leg, released him and turned as if to head back into the home, but stopped and turned around again, charging Aleia. Blackinton, the K-9’s handler, was still at the front door, unable to call the dog off. Aleia had to fire a shotgun to stop the K-9. Bosco was deceased at the scene, though taken to a local veterinarian.

Bosco was said to be in an aggressive mode when tracking the suspect in the home and as he left through the rear door he saw a person; still in an aggressive mode, he attacked as he was trained to do. No one had known the rear door was open.

Shortly after, the suspect was found in his vehicle outside a convenience store, where he had attempted to shoplift. Zachary Girardin was found to have a .38-caliber handgun in his possession, one of the two weapons reported stolen from the Sims Road home. Girardin was charged with criminal attempt to commit sixth-degree larceny, carrying a pistol without a permit, possession of controlled substances, first-degree reckless endangerment and second-degree breach of peace. He was not charged with the killing of the police dog, as his actions did not directly cause Bosco’s death. The shooting of the K-9 is being investigated according to the general orders anytime an officer fires a weapon resulting in injury or death.

Blackinton and Bosco had been paired for about three years, and had participated in several successful drug raids and other police operations, in the past. Blackinton was given time off as a result of the death of his partner.

A special public memorial service was held for Bosco at the Bristol Eastern High School Auditorium on December 23rd.  The city’s police department received an outpouring of affection, condolences and concern from the residents of the city, neighboring towns and other police agencies after the incident. Many people are looking to help. The department asked that in lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Bristol Police Dog Fund and sent to the police department at 131 N. Main Street, Bristol.

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