Owner of pit bull that attacked dog was off-duty cop

April 18, 2012 9:22:33 AM PDT
A five-year veteran of the Chicago Police Department has been relieved of his police powers after becoming the target of an Internal Affairs investigation.

Authorities say the officer was off duty while at the Montrose Beach dog park with his pit bull March 17. The pit bull attacked an 8-lbs. Pomeranian mix named Willy.

Willy died three days later from massive injuries.

At the time of the attack, no one knew the owner was an off-duty Chicago police officer. A number of witnesses said he did not seem to take the attack seriously and never contacted Willy's owner --even though she says she gave him her contact information.

Willy's owner incurred veterinary bills nearing $6,000.

The officer has been cited with not reporting the attack. Chicago police released the following statement Tuesday:

"The Chicago Police Department expects its members to demonstrate the highest standards of conduct on and off duty and will not permit wrongdoing to go unaddressed. Today, the Bureau of Internal Affairs initiated an investigation into the actions of an off-duty member involved in a violation related to the death of an animal owner's dog earlier this month at a dog park. The Animal Crimes Team, which was investigating the incident, cited the member for duty of an animal owner to make notification within 24 hours when an animal has bitten any other domestic animal. The five-year member informed the Department of his involvement and has been relieved of police powers pending the outcome of the investigation."