Texico family mourns loss of dog in police shooting

East Mountain family mourns loss of dog in police shooting

A Texico woman and her family are still mourning the loss of their beloved dog, Pepper, after an officer shot and killed the dog.

TEXICO, N.M. – A Texico woman and her family are still mourning the loss of their beloved dog, Pepper, after an officer shot and killed the dog.

It was all caught on camera in 2021, and the family just reached a settlement with the City of Texico.

Beverly Bentley remembers Nov. 10, 2021 like it was yesterday.

“He said something about shooting my dog, and it took me a minute to figure out what he was talking about because he said he was being aggressive. That dog is the least aggressive dog I have ever owned!” said Beverly Bentley. 

The day she says the Texico Police Chief Doug Bowman came to her work and told her he shot her dog on the porch.

In a Ring video, people can see Bowman on the left side as Pepper barks on the porch. 

“Officer Bowman, according to his report, he reported to the scene, claims that he saw Pepper. However, he never turned on any video. He never had any audio of the incident; he claims that he followed Pepper through the streets and that Pepper returned to its home,” said Tye Hamon, an attorney representing Beverly Bentley. 

Moments later, people can see Bowman look over his shoulder a few times before he points his pistol at the dog, fatally shooting Pepper on the porch.  

After that, he grabs the dog by the collar and tosses him on the lawn. 

“You can see him take Pepper, throw Pepper into the yard and then take a water hose and start cleaning up the scene,” said Hamon. 

After he saw the Ring video of the incident, Bowman filed a police report.

 In the report, he wrote that someone called the station saying pepper almost bit them.

In the report, it goes on to say when Bowman arrived, the dog was “On the porch barking and snarling,” so he made the decision to shoot the dog.

“Pepper is not off the porch, and he actually shoots in the direction of the home,” Hamon said.   

“That dog got me through a lot of hard times, and then all of a sudden, he was taken away. And like I said, he was not aggressive. My mother was bedridden, and she would put her hand down, and he would let her pet him,” said Bentley.  

Bentley recently settled her case with the City of Texico before filing a lawsuit, but she says that doesn’t take away her concern for how Bowman handled the situation. 

“He shouldn’t be allowed to get away with something like this, he really shouldn’t,” Bentley said. 

“We were successful in obtaining a settlement on behalf of Ms. Bentley on the civil side. That doesn’t make her whole, but at least the city did take some responsibility for Mr. Bowman’s actions,” said Hamon.

According to her attorney, the Curry sheriff’s office also investigated the incident.

An animal cruelty expert with the sheriff’s department also looked at the case. The facts were given to the district attorney’s office, and they reportedly made the decision to not prosecute.

KOB 4 also reached out to the City of Texico who says they do not have a comment at this time and to check back on Monday. 

“We think it would have been appropriate, it still would be appropriate because the statute of limitations has not run out, for an outside agency to take a look at it and meet with the sheriff’s department to see if in fact there is criminal conduct that has been committed,” said Hamon. 

The previous sheriff also investigated this case.