INDIAN RIVER COUNTY, Fla. - The video is hard to watch and hear. Indian River County dash camera video shows a deputy shooting a pit bull four times before it is heard whimpering, and ultimately had to be put down.
The dog’s owner is questioning the deputy’s decision to shoot, while the deputy said he acted to protect himself and another woman.
On Feb. 23, a deputy said he was called to respond to a lose dog that attacked a child.
When he arrived to the 2300 block of 8th Ave. Southwest, dash camera video shows a woman standing next to the pit bull with a shoe in her hand, which she ultimately used to shoo the dog away.
The deputy is heard calling the woman to come to his vehicle, and the pit bull runs the opposite direction.
Seconds later, the pit bull comes back in frame, appearing to head toward the woman, and the deputy opens fire.
The dog’s owner, Maria Aguilar, said her dog did not appear aggressive at all, despite the deputy’s account that it was growling and its hair was standing on its back.
“He was trying to go back to the person he was with,” Aguilar said. “I mean, he’s not doing anything,” she said, while re-watching the dash camera video. “It was really hurtful because he didn’t deserve to die that way.”
The dog was ultimately euthanized.
A report detailing the deputy’s account says he was told by dispatch that the dog attacked a child. That ended up being a 15-year-old boy, who told deputies the dog did not bite him. However, the teenager said he had to jump on a car at one point to get away from the dog and jump a fence a second time the dog came near him.
The teen said the dog was growling and charged him both times. The second time, the dog jumped on him scratching his arm before he jumped a fence.
The woman seen in the dash camera video said she ran outside when she heard the teen yelling, and tried to fend the dog off with a shoe. She said the dog grabbed the shoe and chewed it.
She also said the dog was snapping its teeth.
"He wasn’t the type dog that would attack a person or attack you if he saw you walking around.”
Aguilar said her dog got lose in the back yard and they searched for blocks for the dog, before learning it had already been shot.
Animal control was called to the scene but could not get there before the shots were fired.