LARGO — Authorities arrested a man they believe shot and injured a neighbor's dog because it was running around off its leash.
Peter Stekol, 69, was taken to the Pinellas County Jail late Friday on a charge of animal cruelty.
Pinellas deputies accused Stekol of shooting a neighbor's dog earlier that night. Stekol has repeatedly threatened to do so if he saw the dog running loose, according to an arrest affidavit.
The dog's owner and other witnesses said they heard a loud pop at about 9 p.m. and then yelping from the dog, which was off its leash in a trailer park in the 12300 block of Seminole Boulevard, where Stekol lives.
It's unclear how badly the dog was injured. A deputy noted the animal had a fresh wound on its side that appeared to have come from a pellet.
Authorities interviewed Stekol, whose home faces the area of the park where the dog was shot. Stekol admitted to owning a pellet gun but denied shooting the dog and told authorities he was on his porch Friday night smoking a cigarette.
But he also didn't conceal how he felt.
"The dog shouldn't be running loose," he told a deputy, according to the report. "I have already warned her before."
Stekol remained in jail Saturday night in lieu of $5,000 bail.