Police Chief, officer attacked by dog at house fire, shoot dog, owner charged
A York County man faces multiple charges after his dog attacks two police officers at a house fire in West Manheim Township. Township police along with fire crews responded to a fire call at 11:20 this morning in the first block of Rickey Drive. West Manheim Police Chief Tim Hippensteel, who was first on the scene found the attached garage engulfed in flames and the rest of the home filled smoke.
Chief Hippensteel went into the home through the front door in an effort to alert the residents, but was driven out by heavy smoke and flames. Meanwhile, Christopher Weibe, 20, and another occupant who were asleep in the basement of the home were awaken by Chief Hippensteel’s yelling. They ran outside through a basement door along with Weibe’s pit bull.
Police say Weibe then argued and was uncooperative when told by officers to secure his dog. Weibe put the dog in his car which had a missing passenger door window. The dog jumped through the missing window a short time later and attacked Sgt. Toby Wildasin, biting him on the thigh and groin area causing a minor injury. Weibe then put the dog back in his car. The dog jumped out of the window again and attacked Chief Hippensteel biting him in the right calf.
Chief Hippensteel shot the dog once with his handgun. Weibe then jumped out of his car, ran at and shoved Chief Hippensteel. The chief stumbled, nearly falling while still holding onto his handgun. That created the risk of an accidental discharge endangering officers, numerous firefighters, and residents who gathered at the scene. Weibe then ran away. He returned later and was arrested. The dog was found nearby and taken to a vet.
Police later searched Weibe’s car and found some marijuana that he allegedly carried out of the house when he fled the fire. After obtaining a search for the house, police also seized drug paraphernalia.
Charges against Weibe include Aggravated Assault of a Police Officer, Simple Assault, Resisting Arrest, Recklessly Endangering Another Person, Harassment, Possession of Marijuana and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.
Chief Hippensteel and Sgt. Wildasin were treated at the scene for their dog bite injures.
The pit bull is expected to survive.