Dad set 'vicious dog with big jaw' on police to escape Quinton arrest after shouting 'get the dog'

Zain Sheppard
-Credit: (Image: West Midlands Police)

A man set a 'vicious XL Bully' on police in order to escape an attempt to arrest him. Zain Sheppard yelled 'get the dog, get the dog' after being forced to the floor outside his ex girlfriend's home in Quinton where officers responded to a report of him causing a disturbance.

Birmingham Crown Court heard a relative opened the boot of his Ford Fiesta for the dog - whose exact breed is in dispute - to jump out and attack the two constables at the scene. One of the officers feared they were going to be killed before he deployed a Taser to the animal causing it to run away 'whimpering'.

Sheppard used the commotion as a distraction to successfully run away but he was arrested four days later. The 21-year-old dad from Hob Moor Road in Bordesley Green admitted escaping lawful custody, perverting the course of justice and was also convicted of breaching a suspended sentence he incurred for possession of an offensive weapon.

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He was sentenced to 16 months on Thursday, July 4. Police were called to Sheppard's ex-partner's address in Max Road, Quinton at 5.25pm on February 17 this year. Prosecutor Mia McNevin stated he was arrested and handcuffed prompting protests from relatives who asked what he was to be charged with.

She said: "The defendant attempted to resist arrest by pulling away back into the Ford Fiesta. He was taken to the floor by officers due to his conduct. The defendant then shouted 'get the dog, get the dog'."

The court heard one of his relatives then released the 'XL Bully type dog' which was 'aggressive' and 'barking'. It ran towards one of the officers and 'launched itself' at him. In response the constable released his grip of Sheppard and fell to the floor while the defendant ran away.

Ms McNevin said the dog then advanced towards the other officer 'baring its teeth' and jumped at him in an attempt to bite his hand, prompting the constable to fire his Taser at it. The prosecutor told the court the dog ran off 'whimpering' and has not been recovered.

She conceded it has not been possible to confirm exactly what breed it was. Sheppard was arrested at his home address on February 21.

Zain Sheppard
-Credit:West Midlands Police

In a statement one of the officers lamented working in a 'modern world where there is no form of respect for police'. He added he feared for the lives of himself and his colleague.

Joshua Radcliffe, defending, submitted the dog was an American Bulldog as opposed to an XL Bully. He stated Sheppard had gone through a 'chaotic few years' which included witnessing a friend being murdered.

The barrister added his client had the 'day from hell' due to being a passenger in a car which had flipped over in a collision a matter of hours before the incident outside his ex-girlfriend's home. Mr Radcliffe stated Sheppard was in a 'state of distress' because he wanted to see his newborn child.

Judge Dean Kershaw said: "What breed it was doesn't seem to matter, whether it was an XL Bully or an American Bulldog. It was a dog with a big jaw which was vicious.

"Without any sort of instruction it went for the officer. Had that dog bitten the officer he would have been seriously injured. It looked like the kind of dog that has that lockjaw we often see."

He added: "All of the publicity we see around this type of dog, people can get mauled to death by a dog like that. The officer was perfectly justified in thinking his life could have ended if that dog had have grabbed his throat."