An Atwater Village man who feared his pit bull was going to be taken away is in custody tonight after he threatened a utility worker with an assault rifle, prompting the evacuation of neighbors during an approximately three-hour-long stand off with police.
The incident began at about noon when a pit bull owner on Casitas Avenue near Fletcher Drive apparently mistook a gas company employee for an animal control service officer intent on taking away the dog, said Lt. Mike Menza with the Northeast Division. That’s when the pit bull owner threatened the utility worker with an AK-47 rifle.
The utility worker called for help, and police responded by closing off nearby streets and calling in the SWAT team to surround the man’s home. The standoff ended at about 2:30 p.m. without any shots fired after the dog owner surrendered, Menza said. Police recovered the rifle and ammunition.
Police had told The Eastsider earlier in the day that incident began after a DWP worker who had come to turn off power at the Casitas Avenue residence had been threatened, based on preliminary information. It’s not clear what kind of service call the gas company employee was making.