Home News Hundreds mourn slain Port Authority K-9 in Pittsburgh

Hundreds mourn slain Port Authority K-9 in Pittsburgh

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Memorial for Aren

Hundreds of police officers gather on Pittsburgh's North Shore to honor Port Authority K9 Aren who was killed in the line of duty on Sunday, January 31st.Read more about the memorial here: http://bit.ly/1nRpgJf

Posted by TribLIVE.com – Pittsburgh's News Source on Friday, February 5, 2016

The City of Pittsburgh had a gloomy morning today as hundreds of Law Enforcement Officers and many of their K-9 partners as they gathered to mourn the loss of Aren, a Pittsburgh Port Authority K-9 who was stabbed to death last Sunday in performance of his duties along the East Busway in Wilkinsburg, PA.

Image credit: Pittsburg Police K9 Unit Facebook page.
Image credit: Pittsburg Police K9 Unit Facebook page.

According to TribLive, an estimate 350 Law Enforcement officers- many with K-9s in tow- gathered for a procession that ended at the law enforcement officers memorial located at Pittsburgh’s North Shore. In addition, several staff members from the Western Pennsylvania Humane Society walked their dogs from the nearby facility to the memorial and about 100 civilians turned out in the morning.

Aren, a 5-year-old German shepherd, reportedly immigrated to Pittsburgh from the Czech Republic when he was about 13 months old, according to Port Authority police Chief Matthew Porter.

Image credit: Pittsburg Police K9 Unit.

“Aren was fluent in three languages- the first being German, the second being English, and the third being ‘Brian,’” Porter said glumly as he referred to Aren’s handler, Port Authority Officer Brian O’Malley.

Sgt. Greg Beveridge of the Meadville police said he spent much of the 90-minute drive putting himself in O’Malley’s shoes.

Image credit: Pittsburg Police K9 Unit Facebook page.
Image credit: Pittsburg Police K9 Unit Facebook page.

“It’s tear-jerking,” he said and gestured to his K-9, Lilo. “I was driving down here and just kept thinking about if anything ever happened to this guy.”

Port Authority Officer O’Malley, surrounded by family and friends, reportedly did not speak during the ceremony.

Image credit: Pittsburg Police K9 Unit Facebook page.
Image credit: Pittsburg Police K9 Unit Facebook page.

The deadly incident began about 3:30 p.m. Sunday when two Port Authority officers came across Bruce Tyrone Kelly and his father drinking in a gazebo near Linear Trail. Both men fought with officers before fleeing. Officers called for backup and attempted unsuccessfully to subdue Kelley Jr. with a Taser before they released Aren. After threatening to kill Aren, Kelly Jr. pulled out a knife and stabbed the dog in the mouth before two officers, including O’Malley, fatally shot the man.

Image credit: Pittsburg Police K9 Unit Facebook page.
Image credit: Pittsburg Police K9 Unit Facebook page.

District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala emphasized repeatedly that under police policy, the use of a dog to subdue a suspect is the last resort before deadly force, and all the other steps leading up to it had failed. He further stated that under the Pennsylvania amendment known as “Rocco’s Law” (named after another slain K-9), hurting or killing a police dog is a second-degree felony. “If you take that dog’s life, that is and that should be considered a forcible felony”, Zappala said in a press statement on Thursday.

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