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Slain Pa. Cop Had Pointed Stun Gun at Attacking Dogs

August 12, 2011  | 

A Freemansburg Borough (Pa.) Police officer was shot in the head, while attempting to subdue a man's two dogs after responding to a disturbance call Thursday afternoon.

Officer Robert Lasso was shot and killed at a home on New Street at about 5:15 p.m. After responding to the home of George Hitcho Jr., Officer Lasso and Police Chief George Bruneio were confronted by two dogs that attacked Officer Lasso. Chief Bruneio told the officer the shoot the dogs with his stun gun.

Hitcho, 46, reportedly then leveled his shotgun at the officer and fired, killing him. Chief Bruneio then ordered Hitcho to drop the gun, and arrested him. Nicole Radzievich of the Allentown Morning Call has the full details of the incident.

Hitcho Jr. appeared in court Friday morning and has been charged with one count of criminal homicide. No bail was granted. Apparently, Hitcho was known as a loud drinker, and his wife had filed a protective order against him in 2003. Sarah Cassi of The Express-Times reports that wife Jeanette requested the order after she claimed Hitcho grabbed her head during an argument and banged it against the floor.

Officer Lasso had served with the Freemansburg Borough Police Department for seven years. He is survived by his wife and two young children.

Sources: Allentown Morning Call, The Express-Times

Tags: Duty Deaths, Dog Attacks, Domestic Disputes, Police Chiefs, Pennsylvania


Comments (5)

Displaying 1 - 5 of 5

JR @ 8/15/2011 10:08 PM

"...leveled his shotgun at the officer and fired, killing him. Chief Bruneio then ordered Hitcho to drop the gun, and arrested him."

Are you kidding me??!!! This worthless SOB tells his officer to Tase two attacking dogs, watches one of his subordinates/partners get gunned down by a shotgun blast to the head and his worthless *** orders the murderer to drop the gun and arrests him???!!!! This "man" should be fired immediately! Not only is he COMPLETELY unfit to be a chief of police, he has ZERO BUSINESS being a cop period! This is so disgusting, I am literally sick to my stomach right now. I hope/wish there is a way this jack*** can be brought up on criminal charges! At the very least he should be fired for dereliction of duty. This is a "man" who obviously has never given thought to the fact that as a cop he may very well have to shoot another human being prior to this incident. Disgusting.

michael @ 8/16/2011 12:35 AM

This Chief should be fired. What a complete AH for not protecting his officer and he should have shot that SOB.
It sounds to me as if this Chief should have been back behind his desk. Obviseouly, not on the street anymore.
I hope that the POA put a vote of no confidence on this Chief, get rid of him before someone else gets hurt or killed.
I pray for the Officer Lasso and his family in a very unfortunate incident and loss of life that should have been avoided.

dgreeley @ 8/16/2011 7:37 AM

Every class I've taught or attended tells us one person is a cover officer. Two dogs one Stun gun and a Chief lost in his own world and not covering his officer. The Chief should have been covering Officer Lasso and reacted to a hostile life taking threat to his officer. The Chief should have been firing as the suspect raised his shotgun toward Officer Lasso. It sounds like he stood there and watched his officer get shot with no idea of how to provide cover for his officer! This is the kind of training PA provides its police officers. Worry about the answers on a test and not what or how you should act on the street.

Mike @ 8/16/2011 5:08 PM

If the events and how they played out are true, then Yes! The captain should be fired. But and I mean BUT! We were not there, so there needs to be an investigation on how exactly it went down. If the captain was not present or distracted and his officer was shot, the suspect immediately through the gun down and surrendered.
Me personally. I would have expired the suspect regardless of his actions after he killed my officer.

Chris Cooper @ 8/29/2011 9:03 PM

I can't see how any police officer could sit there and watch another officer get gunned down, and not fire at the suspect. The time for talking is over once the suspect is already shooting! That shooter should be dead.

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