ALABAMA — Officer Mike Azwell is suing Deborah Bosch, a woman who called the Tuscaloosa Police Department and complained after Officer Azwell shot a dog four times, executing it. Deborah is Azwell’s neighbor and apparently witnessed him killing the dog. The dog belonged to another neighbor who was not home at the time.
Officer Azwell’s attorney claims in the complaint that Deborah’s comments after the incident caused Azwell to feel “loss of sleep” and “emotional pain,” among other problems. Azwell is seeking $10,000 of Deborah’s money.
Azwell claimed that the dog was vicious and was running toward him. But the dog’s owner, Rebecca James, says that her dog Sonic — an 8-yr-old, disabled chocolate lab — has never acted aggressive.
“She was a sweet dog who liked everyone,” Rebecca said. “That police officer shot an innocent dog four times. He shouldn’t be on the police force, because to me, that is not a stable person.”
The manager of a veterinary clinic, Tana James, also said of Sonic that“she was overweight, eight-years-old, and had hip dysplasia so she couldn’t leap, jump or do a lot of active things.”
“In all the years I’ve been around her, I’ve never seen any aggression. I’ve never seen her growl or lurch at anyone,” said Tana.
Neighbors also stated that they heard gunshots on the morning that Sonic was killed, but no barking or growling.
Deborah Bosch was one of the neighbors. She called the police department to complain after the dog was killed.
Now, officer Azwell is suing her. Azwell’s attorney claims in a complaint that Deborah made “slanderous, libelous and defamatory accusations.”
The complaint goes on to state that this caused ““injury to Azwell’s reputation in the community, embarrassment, humiliation,” and that Azwell has “suffered severe emotional distress, loss of sleep, emotional pain and anguish.” Azwell is seeking $10,000 from Deborah.
According to the lawsuit, these are the statements that Deborah made about Azwell after he gunned down the dog:
“The dog didn’t attack him, the dog didn’t even growl.”
“He covered up the shooting by calling the City of Tuscaloosa Police instead of the County Sheriff’s Department.”
“The dog was not aggressive, I never heard that dog bark.”
“Why do our tax dollars pay for [Officer Azwell] to sit up at his Momma’s house for four hours to visit her while he’s at work, to visit her, on the police motorcycle while he’s dressed in uniform, why?”
“He’s over here at his Momma’s house drinking coffee, eating breakfast I guess, and visiting her. He can’t visit her on his own off-day time.”
“He stays there for three to four hours.”
“He has threatened to shoot my dog too.”
“He told (a family member) he would kill my dog.”
Azwell’s attorney claims that Deborah’s statements were made in attempts to defame Azwell’s reputation or cause him to be fired from the police department.
The suit requests $10,000 of compensatory and punitive damages.