Deputy shoots charging pit bull

Published April 26, 2007

WEBSTER - A Hernando County sheriff's deputy shot an aggressive pit bull twice after it tried to attack him Tuesday afternoon.

Deputy William Hillman went to a home on Rousseau Street at 3:54 p.m. after two children reported that they were chased by the black dog as they walked home from the bus stop, a Sheriff's Office report said.

A 13-year-old girl was walking up her driveway when the dog came around the house and began chasing her. She ran behind a car in the driveway and up the stairs to her house, closing a gate behind her, the report stated.

The dog, which was growling and frothing at the mouth, then began to chase a 13-year-old neighbor who was walking over to the girl's house. The boy ran, throwing his school book bag at the dog and sprinting up the porch steps, he told authorities.

Both managed to escape without injury.

Deputy Hillman found the dog on the back porch when he arrived at the scene. When it charged, the report stated, he tried unsuccessfully to subdue it with pepper spray. He then removed his gun and shot the dog in the neck and abdomen. The pit bull was still alive but unable to move.

Animal control took control of the dog; it was unclear whether it survived the shooting.

Authorities are still looking for the dog's owner, who is believed to live across the Withlacoochee River in Sumter County.

John Frank can be reached at jfrank@sptimes.com or 754-6114.