Police: Chiropractor shot, wounded barking dog in Monessen
A Rostraver chiropractor who became angered by a dog barking outside a birthday party in Monessen is charged with shooting and wounding the dog, city police said.
James V. Scirotto, 46, was charged Wednesday by Monessen police with aggravated cruelty to animals, recklessly endangering another person, public drunkenness and dangerous discharge of a firearm in a residential area after the 8 p.m. Oct. 1 incident in the 1200 block of Marion Avenue. Police said he chased the pet and fired seven rounds at it with a .40 caliber handgun.
Monessen Officer Mike Hummel, who filed the complaints, said the dog was struck twice and has required two surgeries “in order to survive.”
The owners, who declined to be identified, said the mixed breed family pet is still recuperating. They declined further comment.
Reached by telephone Friday, Scirotto said “there are several gross, false accusations” contained in the criminal complaint.
He said he has hired an attorney and intends to fight the charges. He declined further comment and refused to identify his attorney.
Hummel reported that when police arrived to investigate reports of a man firing a handgun at a dog running loose in the neighborhood, police found Scirotto with his Glock .40 caliber handgun “stuck down the front of his pants.”
Scirotto admitted firing the shots, Hummel said in court documents. Scirotto said he was attending a birthday party and the dog was running loose, barking at people “and seemed to be mean.”
When he went to the front of the house and saw the dog, Scirotto told police he felt the dog was acting aggressive toward him so he “took several shots at the dog.”
Hummel said Scirotto’s speech was slurred and he smelled of alcohol, according to court documents. Scirotto told police he did not know whether the bullets struck the dog, Hummel said.
The dog’s owner told police that the animal apparently got loose from its chain in his yard. He claimed it has never bitten anyone in the five years they have owned it. The owner told police that his two young children watched Scirotto chase the dog back into its yard and fire the shots from the front of their house.
Other witnesses told police they saw Scirotto shoot the dog, Hummel wrote.
One witness, Susan Kerr, told police she heard multiple shots, looked out her window and saw Scirotto holding a gun.
“She explained that she was terrified. This is a heavily populated area,” Hummel reported in court documents.
The complaint was sent via mailed summons and a preliminary hearing will be scheduled at the district judge office in Monessen.
Paul Peirce is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Paul at 724-850-2860, [email protected] or via Twitter .