Police officer shoots pit bull after woman allegedly released dog to attack officer


WEST SENECA, N.Y. (WIVB)– The West Seneca Police Department says an officer was attacked by a pit bull while responding to a domestic disturbance call after its owner allegedly released it to attack the officer on New Years Day.

The department tells us officers responded to a domestic disturbance call at 22 Burch Avenue at 11 p.m. on January 1. Police say the victim who made the call had “safeguarded” herself in the lower apartment on Burch Avenue.

The victim told police that 34-year-old April Gorman, who lives in the upper apartment at Burch Avenue was “intoxicated, violent, threatening harm to herself and others, and damaging property.”

Officials say when officers attempted to gain access to Gorman’s apartment, a large pit bull chased an officer down the stairs and out of the apartment. They say the officer ran down the street, but the pit bull attacked.

Police say the officer shot the dog twice.

“The officer, in defense of himself, discharged his firearm striking the pit bull twice. The pit bull ended its attack, and ran onto a nearby porch.”


The animal was taken to an emergency animal hospital after West Seneca Animal Control Officers arrived at the scene. We’re told the officer had minor injuries.

The pit bull is recovering.

After the attack, officers attempted to reach Gorman again, police say after several verbal attempts officers entered her upper apartment. Officers report Gorman was hiding in a closet.

“Officers attempted to detain the subject, but Gorman refused to follow the officer’s commands and punched, kicked, and attempted to head butt the officers.”


She was taken to the Erie County Medical Center for a mental health evaluation.

The victim in the lower apartment told police Gorman had “purposely and knowingly” released the pit bull onto a landing to attack officers.

“After speaking with the victim, it was learned that Gorman had purposely and knowingly released the pit bull into the upper landing to attack the responding officers. The officers sustained minor injuries and returned immediately to duty.”


Gorman will be arraigned on the following charges:

· Criminal Mischief 2nd Degree (Class D Felony)

· Attempted Aggravated Assault on a Police Officer (Class C Felony)

· 2 Counts of Obstructing Governmental Administration 2nd Degree (Class A Misdemeanor)

· Resisting Arrest (Class A Misdemeanor)

· Disorderly Conduct (Violation)

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