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Juneau, AK 99801

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Q. yesterday I was chatting with my friends with my dog. I happened to be off the sidewalk but not in the road by any means. But even if I were it was inside a crosswalk. A man turning the corner too tight ran over my dog's tail and hit my backpack. He stopped to yell obscenities at me than he sped off before I could say anything. My dog's tail is injured. I have his license plate and know what kind of car he was driving. Would this be considered a hit and run? I didn't want to bother calling the police because I'm not sure if I even have a case.

Dear Juneau Resident,

Ouch, your poor dog! This guys sounds like he was not at all appropriate in his behavior. There are some options and your selection probably depends on the amount of time you want to spend addressing the situation.

The hit and run ordinance specifically says the injury has to be to a person so that is not a good fit. An option is Reckless Driving if the totality of the circumstances showed that the driver grossly deviated from the standard of conduct that a reasonable person would have shown. Some of the elements of a reckless driving investigation would have to do with how far outside the lane of travel you and your dog were, the specifics of the area including stop signs and the speed limit, and other factors.

Even if you don't think reckless driving applies I would encourage you to report the incident, including a description of the driver at least for JPD's information. He may very well be having other driving incidents and the situation with you could be referenced involving another case.

If would wanted to ask for civil remedies for vet bills you could go through DMV to get the registered owner's name. Then you would have a name for small claims provided you could confirm the registered owner was the one driving.

Please give your dog an extra biscuit from JPD, we have many dog fans here.


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