Coming in the opposite direction on the trail was Stephen Coco, an off-duty Manchester police officer, accompanied by his two young daughters, ages 3 and 4.
The details of the incident, still under investigation by Bedford police, are murky.
But what is clear is that Coco
, claiming self defense, shot and killed Toby
, firing eight to nine shots at the dog.
What happened next specifically what caused Coco
to believe his family was in danger and what happened when Arnoldy confronted Coco remains in question.
The two men gave Bedford police strikingly different accounts of Toby's demeanor and what happened after Coco
Arnoldy said Coco
kept the gun trained on him for several seconds before putting it away.
According to Coco
's report to Bedford Police, Toby
approached him and began circling his
family in a menacing manner "snarling, barking and lunging."At this point, Coco said he
weapon in self defense and fired eight or nine times, hitting Toby
Douglas said the city is being sued because Coco
is a city employee who used his department-issued weapon to kill Toby
Douglas said the civil litigation would go on regardless of the final decision by the County Attorney's Office."The county attorney is investigating, essentially, whether Coco
went cuckoo,"he said.
"If there is any truth to those allegations, such behavior on the part of Toby could only have been brought on by extreme provocation by Mr. Coco
wrote."Perhaps, the unwarranted kicking that Coco
administered was the real cause."
...Manchester Detective Stephen Coco, 32, was off duty, walking in the Pulpit Rock conservation area Sunday with his two daughters, aged 3 and 4, when he shot and killed a dog that he said charged and attacked them.
One of the dog's owners, Chris Arnoldy, 33, of Amherst, arrived at the scene just as Coco
fired the last of an estimated six to eight rounds into the 3-year-old chow mixed breed, Toby
Arnoldy said Coco
overreacted, and the dog had merely frightened, but not attacked, Coco
and his children.
remains on active duty, and the Manchester Police Department's
Professional Standards Bureau will conduct its own investigation, department spokesman Sgt.
and Arnoldy both notified Manchester police of the incident.
went to the Bedford Police Department
after the incident to make a report, and Arnoldy spoke with Bedford police after first speaking with Amherst police, Roy said.
told police the dog attacked his children, Roy said.
then drew his
pistol and fired three or four shots down at the dog, most of which apparently hit dirt, because he
said the dog kept circling.Coco
then fired three or four more shots, Roy said.
Arnoldy arrived just in time to see Coco
fire the last round, Roy said, and ran toward him yelling, "Don't shoot my dog."
Both men agreed that Coco
turned toward Arnoldy with the pistol still in his hand.
Arnoldy told The Telegraph
said, "Get down."
Both men agreed Coco
identified himself as a police officer.
...Steven Coco, the off-duty Manchester police detective who shot and killed a dog Sunday in a Bedford park, told police the incident was an effort to protect his two preschool-age daughters.
...Coco, who joined the department in July 1995, was working yesterday as an officer assigned to the Manchester Police Department's Detective Division.Coco
was a patrol officer until September 1998, when he
was assigned to the investigative unit, Fowke said.Capt. David Mara described Coco as a "good police officer."
A call yesterday to Coco
for comment was not returned.
On Sunday, Coco
shot and killed a 3-year old Belgian shepherd and chow mix dog named Toby
, owned by Chris Arnoldy of Amherst.
The incident happened when Coco
was walking with his
two daughters, ages 3 and 4, in Pulpit Rock Park in Bedford.
Arnoldy ran in that direction and found his dog lying on the path, covered in blood, and Coco
there with his two children.
also told police he
picked up his
3-year-old and tried to shield his
4-year-old behind him when the dog came at them.Coco
, police said, tried to fend off the dog by kicking him, but that the dog kept circling, "snarling, barking and lunging" at Coco and his
When the dog circled Coco
for the third time, police said Coco
"(Coco) discharges that final round.The individual who had the dog is yelling, ‘Don't shoot my dog.' Now the officer's attention shifts.He
tells the guy to calm down."
did not say "get down" but "calm down" and did not point the gun at Arnoldy.