CAPE CORAL, Fla .– A chaotic scene unfolded on Del Prado Blvd after a German Shepherd named Ginger was run over by a school bus Monday afternoon.
Lori Berroa said she was driving around the adjacent neighborhood looking for a missing dog.
Berroa said she saw the dog being scared off by bikers and that’s when Ginger took off into oncoming traffic.
“The dog was not hit by any car, the cars were all stopped and the dog left,” Berroa said. “We tried to get the dog out but he was too scared.”
A mother who had a 12-year-old boy on this bus said her child was devastated after witnessing the incident.
“I called him at 5:30 am to check he was okay and he was crying hysterically and hyperventilated. The way my son was hysterical, you would have thought he was our dog. He said he saw the dog and they sent him away and he was just devastated, ”the mother said.
Witnesses told NBC2 that Cape Coral police officers told the bus driver to keep driving, causing the bus to overturn and Ginger’s death.
“This dog was safe under that bus, he wasn’t hit, he was alive and he was scared and he needed our help and we let this dog down. The officers let this dog down, ”Berroa said.
Cape Coral Police said this was not what happened when they said an officer on leave attended the scene on his way home from work.
As she was off duty, her body camera was not on, but she did turn on her dash cam, which Corporal Phil Mullen says actively shows the officer trying to help the dog.
“Everyone tried to get this dog out of under that bus safely. They tried. The officer did not order the bus driver to drive while the dog was under the bus, ”Mullen said.
CCPD says the officer returned to his car while other people tried to direct the bus driver but in their attempt to move the bus killed Ginger.
In a statement, the CCPD said: It was a very sad and unfortunate incident, but one that was NOT done willfully or negligently.
READ THE FULL CCPD STATEMENT BELOW:
“The Cape Coral Police Department would like to make a statement regarding the accident that occurred yesterday at block 3300 Del Prado Boulevard North, involving a Lee County school district bus and a German Shepherd, Ginger.
A CCPD officer stumbled across the scene on her way home from work, where Ginger had run under a school bus on a busy two-lane road. The officer called him to send and activated his lights, as well as his dash cam.
This on-board camera footage shows the officer, several citizens, and the bus driver doing all they can to get Ginger out from under the bus. Ginger seemed naturally scared and ran under the bus, which made her recovery difficult.
The officer returned to his vehicle several meters away in order to move his vehicle upward to block the traffic of the bus and Ginger. While the officer was away from the bus, it appeared that the citizens continued to try to coordinate the bus to get away safely, and when the bus attempted to move, Ginger got caught under the tires and tragically killed.
Seeing that Ginger had been hit, the officer came back to her and is seen on video putting on gloves to help a citizen move Ginger. According to the officer, his offer to help move Ginger was refused.
To note :
The officer was on her way home outside of her duty hours when she stopped to help her and had therefore already set up her body camera at the station to download it.
The dash cam did not have audio capabilities outside the vehicle.
The officer did NOT order a handler to proceed with disregard for the dog’s safety.
All of us here at the Cape Coral Police Department are animal lovers and never want to be harmed. It was a very sad and unfortunate incident, but one that was NOT done willfully or negligently. “