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Dogs chased mailman prior to deadly Grover Beach attack

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Recently filed court documents are shedding more light on the circumstances surrounding a dog attack in Grover Beach that left one person dead and another injured.

The documents, filed by an attorney representing the former Grover Beach Police officer who owned the dogs, included investigative reports that stated the animals chased a postal carrier just before the attack. The documents also showed that some residents in the neighborhood where the attack occurred had misgivings about the dogs, including the former officer's own roommate.

That former officer, Alex Geiger, now faces three felony charges in connection with the Dec. 13, 2016, attack, which left Grover Beach resident David Fear dead and injured his elderly neighbor, Betty Long. The dog believed to be primarily responsible for the attack, a retired police K-9 named Neo, was euthanized shortly after the incident.

According to a report from SLO County's Animal Services Division, one witness stated that they had seen Geiger's two dogs chasing a mail truck down Owens Court shortly before the attack. In a later interview, the mail carrier reportedly said he was making deliveries in the area when he saw two dogs running from Geiger's property toward his truck, barking aggressively.

"One of the dogs seemed particularly aggressive and was jumping on [the mail carrier's] truck as if trying to get at him," the report stated.

According to the report, the mail carrier told investigators that he left the area and the dogs stopped their pursuit. The mail carrier added that he'd never had any dog-related problems in the neighborhood before that day.

The carrier wasn't the only witness that voiced misgivings about Geiger's dogs. Other neighbors stated that they had problems with the dogs frequently barking. One individual who owned a vacation home next to Geiger's house reportedly said he received calls from his gardener and handyman, who told him Geiger's dogs were "going crazy"; barking and appearing to act aggressively when they were working nearby.

An Animal Services investigator also spoke with Geiger's roommate, a Cal Poly student, who reportedly said she never saw Neo act in an aggressive manner, but admitted that she had never been alone with the dog.

"... she has felt it prudent to avoid those situations given his status as a police dog and his general demeanor, which she characterized as a 'serious dog,'" the report states.

Still, other neighbors told investigators that they had not experienced any problems with the dog acting aggressive, and had not seen them running lose in the neighborhood prior to the attack.

Currently, Geiger is facing three criminal charges in connection with the attack, including a charge of involuntary manslaughter. Geiger's attorney is asking a San Luis Obispo County Superior Court judge to drop the manslaughter charge, which the SLO County District Attorney's Office recently added to the two criminal counts they'd initially charged Geiger with in the wake of the attack.

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