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Charge Dropped Against Man Who Fatally Shot Attacking Pit Bull

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(AP Photo/Dave Martin)

(AP Photo/Dave Martin)

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WASHINGTON (AP) — A gun charge has been dropped against a man who used an unregistered pistol to shoot a dog attacking a boy.

The Washington Post reports that D.C. Superior Court Michael J. McCarthy accepted prosecutors’ motion Tuesday to dismiss the charge against Ben Srigley. He can now petition to have the arrest expunged.

Srigley’s 9mm Ruger P90 was purchased legally in Virginia, but never registered in the district. In January, three pit bulls attacked a boy on the street outside Srigley’s home and he shot one to death. A police officer shot and killed the other two.

The boy’s life was saved, but Srigley was left with legal troubles in a case that caught the attention of gun-rights advocates who criticize the laws that make owning guns in the district so difficult.

Prosecutors tried to balance the violation and what Srigley did to help the boy, said Deputy Attorney General Andrew Fois. In a deal with prosecutors, Srigley agreed to pay a $1,000 fine and register his handgun and two long guns in storage after his planned move to Maryland.

“We don’t want people to not help,” Fois said. “But when you break the gun laws, it’s not something we can turn a blind eye to. He made amends by paying a decent fine, and he registered his guns, and he moved out of town. The laws of the District of Columbia are vindicated, while recognizing the unique contribution he made saving a young boy’s life.”

Second Amendment Check helped raise money for Srigley’s defense, but he said on his home remodeling company’s Facebook page that he would give all the money to the injured boy and paid the fine himself. Attorney Danny C. Onorato, a former federal prosecutor took the case for free and said Srigley is “grateful he was able to save the life of a child. He is not commenting on society’s gun laws.”

The owner of the three pit bulls, Andrew E. Paige, is charged with three counts each of having a dog off a leash and keeping a dangerous dog. He faces $30,000 in fines and 30 days in jail if convicted. He has a court hearing scheduled for next month.

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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