Savage Police Close Case on Injured Pit Bull, Call Incident Accidental
Proof of Cesar running loose, bloody paws showing the pit bull crossed a busy street and a vet's report, led Savage police to close the case, they said Monday.
Savage police have completed their investigation into the case of Cesar the pit bull, who's story went viral last week after it was reported he was possibly taken from his yard and then returned, beaten.
Their concusion – based on investigation, veterinary reports and interviews with Cesar's owner, Robert Cole, Cole's fiance, Amber Wade, and numerous neighbors – is that the dog was accidentally hit by a car after he escaped from his fenced yard.
Police reports obtained by Shakopee Patch reveal that since the incident was reported July 25, police have spoken to several neighbors who said they saw the dogs running loose that day.
One neighbor said she received a call that day informing her that the dogs were running loose and said "the dogs run loose quite often and the neighbors will call each other to let them know." One resident was quoted as saying a pit bull and black lab were "bolting" down the street on July 25.
Police said they saw bloody paw prints indicating Cesar had crossed a busy street near the area of 133rd and 134th Street, several blocks from the dogs' home on the 5400 block of West 132nd Lane.
The dog's owner, Robert Cole, has also been cited by the city of Savage related to letting his dogs run loose. In April, a resident called and reported a pit bull and black lab running loose in the neighborhood and trying to get at other dogs in fenced areas, according to police reports. When police found Cole's dog did not have a license, he was given a week to get a license for the dog and was cited when he failed to do so, records said.
Cole also has a warrant out for his arrest for an unpaid fine related in connection with that incident, court records said. Cole was informed of the warrant last week after Cesar's incident and given until the end of the day Monday to clear it up with Scott County court officials.
Although a vet at Midwest Animal Rescue and Services told police Cesar's injuries likely did not come from a vehicle because no debris was found in his wounds, that vet did not do x-rays or treat Cesar for his wounds, police records show. Cesar was transported to Douglas Animal Hospital, where he was treated. That report from a vet states that the injury on Cesar's right hind leg was a result of severe trauma. Cesar also had a 1 cm deep laceration on his left leg and an abrasion on his chin.
The report also stated, "lung musculoskeletal and degloving most consistent with trauma from hit by car, and/or dragging. Lung changes consistent with trauma, suspect hit by car."
The report also says that gravel was found in and removed from Cesar's injuries.
The writing on Cesar's back stating, "Back Off Bob" remains unexplained, police said. In a police interview with Cole, who was not home at the time the dogs disappeared, he said he would have been upset with his fiance if he found out the dogs had gotten loose and Cesar had been hit by a car.
Cole's fiance, Amber Wade, "quietly responded no" when asked by police if she wrote on the dog in an interview on July 27.
Cole also told police that Cesar is too shy to have gone with a stranger in an abduction scenario and that although he's involved in legal issues with an ex-business partner in a dog-training business, he didn't think it was likely that anyone from that business happened upon the escaped dog to do him harm.
Police have closed the case, saying there is no evidence to support Cesar was adbucted and injured in any manner other than accidental.
Savage police initially responded to the call Wednesday, July 25 at 2:31 p.m. that two dogs had possibly been taken from their yard and returned beaten.