Bellingham police shoot dog in altercation at skate park

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BELLINGHAM — Officers from Bellingham Police Department who responded to an assault at the Bellingham Skate Park shot and killed a pit bull that attacked them on Saturday evening, July 13.

Officers were called to the skate park near Civic Field around 7 p.m. after witnesses reported that a man hit a 16-year-old boy in the back of the head hard enough that it knocked his helmet off, according to a press release from the Bellingham Police Department.

When the first officer arrived at the skate park and made contact with the suspect, Joel Votion, 27, Votion's pit bull attacked the officer.

Other Bellingham Police officers arrived and also engaged Votion and his dog. The officers were also bit.

Officers Tasered the dog but it was not effective. Three officers then shot and killed the pit bull.

Three officers were treated and released at St. Joseph hospital on Saturday evening. One officer may be on light duty while his wounds heal, according to the press release.

Votion was booked into Whatcom County Jail for obstructing a police officer, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct.