By Stephen Thompson, The Tampa Tribune
A St. Petersburg police officer shot a pit bull Monday night, but the dog took off afterward and no one knows where it is or whether it is alive, police said.
Patrol officers were dispatched to 1733 29th Ave. N. at 9:45 p.m., after reports about an aggressive pit bull in the neighborhood, police spokesman Mike Puetz said.
The animal, whose name is Tank, had already bitten at least one person, and neighbors told authorities it had been terrorizing the neighborhood for two weeks while its owners were away, Puetz said.
As the pit bull approached an officer and a resident in an aggressive manner Monday night, the officer fired at the dog twice, Puetz said. The pit bull then took off, Puetz said.
Many residents said in previous weeks the dog had bitten them, or tried to, and that they had called police.
According to a police report, David Teer said that two weeks ago he was returning from a 7-Eleven store when Tank tried to attack him. Teer threw his Super Big Gulp drink at the dog, and the dog ran off.
On Monday, Anthony Davies said he started out for the 7-Eleven when the pit bull charged him in an alley, according to a report. The dog bit him on the right calf and upper thigh. He called police from the 7-Eleven and, on his way back, the dog attacked him again, biting him on the left calf and upper thigh, according to a report. He then stayed with some neighbors and did not go back outside until he noticed police were in the area.
By then, Jeremy Booker had called police and said he was outside his home when the dog started to charge him, but he managed to escape inside, the report said.
Two officers arrived in separate cruisers, saw the animal and got out of their squad cars, according to the police report.
A resident, Davis Lewis, emerged from his home and offered to put the pit bull back in the owners' yard. He was told that wasn't a good idea if he thought the dog would bite him, according to the report.
Lewis walked down the street and whistled for Tank to follow him, the report said. Tank charged him instead, while Lewis was near one of the officers, according to the report.
That officer grabbed Lewis by the back of his shirt and pulled him away from the dog with one hand while he fired his weapon with the other hand, according to the report.
The first shot missed, but the second struck the dog, and the animal limped away, leaving a trail of blood, according to the report.