An Astoria man was sentenced to 12 years to life in prison for siccing his pit bull on a police officer, the Queens District Attorney’s Office announced last week.
On Aug. 2, 2010, police from a narcotics team chased someone into an apartment at 14-34 28 Ave. in Astoria, where Jeffrey Cofield, 43, was holding a pit bull terrier by the collar, according to the DA’s office.
When Sgt. Craig Kearney entered the apartment, Cofield released the dog and shouted, “Get him,” the DA’s office said. It bit Kearney in the face, puncturing him in the cheek and jaw, before Cofield grabbed the dog by the collar.
Kearney was taken to a hospital for treatment, according to the DA’s office, while the dog was eventually collected by Animal Care & Control. It has since found a home, a spokeswoman for the DA’s office said.
Cofield represented himself last month during a nonjury trial, which the DA’s office said he elected over a jury-presided trial. According to a statement from District Attorney Richard Brown, Cofield is a “persistent felony offender.”
“The defendant used his pit bull as a four-legged weapon to attack a police officer,” Brown said. “The lengthy sentence meted out by the court is more than justified.”