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Dog killed by a school bus in Cape Coral, and bystanders say police are to blame

Posted at 10:58 PM, Aug 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-24 22:58:39-04

CAPE CORAL — We’re hearing two sides of a tragic story.

Several neighbors in Cape Coral claim a police officer told a school bus driver to run over a dog in order to clear traffic, but the Cape Coral Police Department says that’s not what happened.

Lori Berroa said the horrific scene played out in front of dozens of onlooking children.

“They were looking out the windows, yeah they definitely knew. My kids were in my car and saw it happen," said Berroa.

Berroa said, what they saw happen was a scared, lost dog named Ginger huddled under a school bus and a police officer telling that bus to drive.

"Because of her making that bus move, and the dog trying to keep up with the bus, I watched it get run over," said Berroa.

Cape Coral Police say the dog’s death is tragic, but it’s not the officer’s fault.

"Our officer did not tell the bus to move. The officer did not order that bus driver to run over a dog," said Master Corporal Phillip Mullens.

But Tia Snowden was also at the scene, and she isn’t buying it.

"That’s not true, because the bus driver was listening to the officer. She was telling him go like this. She was bent down like this going like this telling him to go," said Snowden.

After the dog was hit, Berroa said she asked the officer for help getting the dog out of the road, but the officer refused.

"I proceeded to scream and say I can’t pick her up by myself. She was a German Shepherd, I couldn’t pick her up by myself," said Berroa.

Cape Coral Police say, after reviewing dash cam footage, they see it differently.

"Our officer is on camera donning gloves and she, according to the officer, she offered to help moving the dog and was refused," said Master Corporal Mullens.

Snowden said she was there and the officer was not helpful.

"I thought she was going to help, because she was putting on her gloves, but she did not help. She did not help," said Snowden.

Berroa said, she wants to see the Cape Coral Police Department take responsibility for Ginger’s death, because that’s the only way to keep other dogs safe.

“I just don’t want this to ever happen again," said Berroa.