Former Grover Beach officer charged in fatal dog mauling case

Feb 3, 2017

Criminal charges have been filed against the former Grover Beach police officer whose dog fatally attacked a resident and severely injured another in December. 

The dog, a young Belgian Malinois, was his personal pet and not a working police dog at the time of the mauling.

The San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s office announced Thursday the felony charges allege Alex Geiger knew his dog was dangerous and was negligent in controlling the animal.

“Mr. Geiger had custody and control of a ‘mischievous animal’, knew of its dangerous propensities, but negligently allowed the animal to kill Mr. Fear, and inflict serious bodily injury on Ms. Long,” Assistant District Attorney Lee Cunningham said in a press release announcing the charges.

Betty Long, 85, was injured in the December 13, 2016 attack. Her neighbor David Fear, 64, tried to assist and was in turn severely mauled by the dog. Fear died three days later from his injuries.

The DA’s office says it conducted further investigation of the case after referral from the county’s animal services division.

Grover Beach city manager Matthew Bronson say Geiger resigned from the police department there on Wednesday and is no longer employed by the city of Grover Beach.

“The City continues to express its condolences to the family of Mr. Fear and wishes Ms. Betty Long a speedy recovery,” Bronson said in a statement released on Thursday.

Geiger’s arraignment has been set for Feb. 21st. Cunningham said Geiger is facing a maximum sentence of three years and 8 months in state prison.