New facts released today reveal that a Florida Police Officer lied to investigators in his initial statement regarding the death of his K9, Igor, last year. The report included the examination of surveillance video which contradicted Officer Gerardo Bellido’s official report.
According to the April necropsy, K9 Igor, a member of the Kissimmee Police Department in Florida, died of “terminal circulatory collapse/shock with evidence of heat stroke”. At that time, his handler, Officer Bellido, claimed that he left the dog in the car with the air running, while he went to eat. His statement on April 21 convinced authorities that the dog must have had an internal heat-related ‘incident’.
Bellido claimed the dog had been in his air-conditioned K9 vehicle when he found it unconscious and rushed Igor to the vet. Igor had been in the car for more than three hours before Bellido realized his mistake. The new evidence contradicts the Officer’s initial statement, revealing to what extent Bellido lied to official investigators. The car was not running, in fact had no air conditioning. Igor had not even been in his official K9 vehicle. The outside temperature that day reached the mid-80s, hot enough to quickly kill an animal left in a hot car.
The Kissimmee Police Department conducted a thorough internal investigation surrounding the K9’s death, which included examining the surveillance video. The video showed the officer’s actions before, during and after Igor’s death. The official statement from that Department’s investigation reveals and sustains that Officer Bellido exhibited ‘wanton or willful neglect in performance of assigned duties and falsification of city records.’
According to reports, Officer Bellido admitted he lied in his official statement. He divulged the truth to a fellow officer. “I killed the dog, it’s my fault,” said Officer Bellido, according to a FDLE report. “I left the dog in the car.” Four-year-old Igor, a German Shepherd, died due to his handler’s negligence. In June, Igor was posthumously honored with a memorial service befitting an officer, with flags at half staff and an honor guard.
Officer Bellido has received a 160 hour suspension, all taken out of his accrued vacation time. He remains on the force, but is no longer a K9 officer.