Bennett said after he crossed the bridge over Markley Street on the way to the Norristown Transportation Center, he spotted a dog running free that was growling in a threatening manner and headed in his direction. Fearing he would be attacked, he fired at the animal with a Glock brand handgun.
Shooting at a dog or other animals threatening to attack a domestic pet or person is legal in Pennsylvania; however, as a precaution, Brooke took the manâ€™s gun and pepper spray he was carrying.
The guy had his gun and spray returned to him. Pepper spray can be useful in these kinds of situations, but charging, angry dog probably isn’t one of them, if your goal is not to get bitten. Given where he was on the trail, I would be concerned the dog was either feral or dangerous myself. I think he made the right call, and obviously the police didn’t have a problem with it. If he had been bitten, you’d want a corpse they can test for rabies. Absent a corpse you go through a series of costly injections as a prophylactic measure. The only problem is that it’s very hard to hit a charging dog, as this guy found out, and unlike humans, an angry dog doesn’t know he’s supposed to stop when he gets shot. I’ve heard of stories of dogs taking multiple hits and still attacking.
It’s not surprising that people carry on the trail. I carried on the trail myself when I used to bike there. The Norristown through Conshohocken leg isn’t the best of neighborhoods, and attacks have happened. I notice also that they didn’t cite this guy for violating the county rule against weapons on the trail. Maybe they got the message that’s not enforceable.