ZEPHYRHILLS — A Pasco County deputy shot and killed a pit bull Sunday afternoon when the dog attacked him while he was responding to a woman he mistakenly believed needed assistance, authorities said.
Deputy Brent Taber was attempting to serve an arrest warrant in the area about 2:30 p.m. for failure to appear in court on a theft charge when he saw a woman he thought was trying to flag him down at 39809 Cole Ave.
"The deputy stopped and made contact, but it wasn't a flag down," sheriff's spokesman Doug Tobin said.
When the deputy realized the woman was just waving her arms, he started to return to the patrol car. But the woman's pit bull charged a gate, forced it open and ran toward the deputy.
The dog latched onto his left arm. Taber was severely cut and was taken to Tampa General Hospital. Taber has been with the Sheriff's Office for four years, Tobin said.
An investigation showed the dog's release was unintentional. But the woman, Demetria Livingston, 47, was cited by the Sheriff's Office for failure to properly contain the dog. Pasco County Animal Control also cited her for failure to tag it properly.
The remains of the pit bull were taken by Animal Control for testing.