BAYTOWN, Texas – A Baytown police officer who was attempting to detain robbery suspects Wednesday at a Dollar General was attacked by a pit bull, police said.
Lt. Steve Dorris of Baytown Police said the officer responded at 11:46 a.m. to reports of a robbery in the 400 block of North Alexander.
City manager Rick Davis said a man and a woman identified as Dustin McCoy, 33, and Kasey Thompson, 33, shoplifted from the store, and McCoy was assaulting an employee who confronted them about the theft in the parking lot.
Police arrived as McCoy was being detained in the parking lot by the employee and a citizen, officials said.
McCoy was arrested and police attempted to detain Thompson, who was sitting in the passenger side of a vehicle.
Officials said they asked Thompson several times to get out of the vehicle, but she refused. She opened the driver's side door, and the dog got out and attacked Officer Robert Ramlal, police said
Davis said the dog bit Ramlal several times on the arm and hand. He was unable to escape the dog and was forced to shoot and kill the dog, authorities said.
Officers said they took Thompson into custody and Ramlal was taken to an area hospital.
Thompson and Davis have robbery charges pending.
Ramlal, a nine-year veteran of the Baytown Police Department, remains hospitalized. He will undergo surgery for serious injuries to his hand, including bone and tendon damage.
A spokeswoman for Dollar General said they are cooperating with local authorities in the investigation.
"We are deeply concerned about the events that took place at our Baytown store today, Crystal Ghassemi said. "We are grateful to our employees who acted quickly to notify law enforcement and to Officer Ramlal, who was injured in connection with responding to the call. Our thoughts are with Officer Ramlal and his family, and we wish him a speedy, full recovery. Dollar General is cooperating with local authorities investigating this matter."