David Fear

Former Grover Beach Police officer, Alex Geiger, has been charged with felony months after his police dog mauled a Grover Beach man to his death and severely injured an elderly woman. The District Attorney filed two-count felony criminal complaint against Alex Geiger.

There was much speculation in the Grover Beach community about whether the 2 ½-year-old Belgian Malinois was a trained K9 officer or in-training to be a K9 officer. Prior to working for the Grover Beach Police Department, Alex Geiger was a police dog trainer in Kings County. Geiger then moved to Grover Beach and bought the Belgian Malinois. He had also signed a waiver stating consent that the animal had shown previous aggressive tendencies. In December, the dog attacked an elderly woman, Betty Long, and her dog. Her neighbor, David Fear, stepped in the help save her and he was brutally attacked. Betty Long sustained severe injuries and was hospitalized. David Fear died a few days after getting admitted to the hospital.  Local news station, KEYT News reported, “The District Attorney’s formal complaint said Geiger ‘failed to maintain control of a dangerous animal’ which led to Fear’s death and Long’s injuries.’”

This incident marks the first time a dog mauling led to a death in the county. If found guilty, Geiger will face up to 3 years and 8 months in prison. This case can be tried as a wrongful death case simultaneously to the criminal case. In this situation, the family members or close relatives of David Fear can pursue action on Alex Geiger for his negligence, and intent to harm. Ryan Harris, the founder of Harris Personal Injury Lawyers stated, “Family members of the victim would have the right to pursue the dog owner in a civil court for monetary damages.” If your dog is to bite, attack or even kill someone, you have a civil responsibility to the family of the victim. The team at Harris Personal Injury Lawyers send our deepest condolences to the Fear family.

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