Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Dog slips leash in St. Petersburg; angry motorist shoots owner

ST. PETERSBURG — A man walking his dog was shot in the leg by a disgruntled motorist after the animal lurched into the road, forcing a pickup to stop.

St. Petersburg police are searching for a man who shot Peter Harbachuk, 46, on Friday after his dog got off her leash.

Harbachuk and his wife, Annie, 62, had taken their golden retriever, Bella, for a walk near their home.

The dog seemed fine but at one point got spooked by a neighbor's dog, Harbachuk said.

The 4-year-old dog wiggled her way off the leash and bolted across the road near 88th Avenue N and Seventh Street, running in front of a dark pickup.

The truck stopped, and a woman got out and yelled at the couple, St. Petersburg police said.

Harbachuk said he calmly asked the woman to get back in her truck, saying he was going to get his dog under control.

The woman got back in the truck. But the problem escalated.

"Some dude hopped out and he pointed a gun toward my head," Harbachuk said. "I said, 'Hey, this doesn't have to go down like this.' "

The man lowered the gun a bit, closed his eyes and squeezed the trigger, he said. He and the woman sped away, and police and paramedics arrived soon after.

Neighbor James Arbogast, 31, gave a different account. He said he saw Harbachuk run up to the pickup before the shooting. The truck was driving away but reached a stop sign, where Harbachuk started yelling and banging on the passenger-side window, Arbogast said.

He said he saw the man get out. Seconds later, the shot was fired.

Harbachuk disputed that account.

"I never ran out to the guy's car. There was no verbal confrontation at all. Period," he said. "There was a lot of commotion, and I might have seen where the guy had been confused."

Police said Harbachuk was shot in the leg, but he has been released from Bayfront Medical Center and is back at home recovering.

The truck is described as a dark pickup, possibly a Ford F-150. Police said the man is 30 to 35 years old, about 5 feet 10 and about 200 pounds, clean-shaven and muscular. The woman is 25 to 30 years old, about 5 feet 5 and petite, with short brown hair.

Harbachuk said he's shocked by how quickly the situation turned violent.

"This could've been anyone. It could've been my wife," he said. "It could have been just any person walking down the street."

Dog slips leash in St. Petersburg; angry motorist shoots owner 02/20/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, February 20, 2013 10:52pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. 24-year-old man charged with murder in shooting at Andrea Cove Motel

    LARGO — Pinellas sheriff's officers arrested a 24-year-old transient man Saturday in connection with a homicide at the Andrea Cove Motel in unincorporated Largo.

  2. Photo gallery: Calvary Christian rolls to state title

    Blogs

    View a gallery of images from Calvary Christian's defeat of Pensacola Catholic 11-1 in six innings Saturday night at Hammond Stadium in Ft. Myers for the Class 4A title.

    Calvary Christian players circle up on the field before the FHSAA class 4A baseball championship against Pensacola Catholic on Friday May 27, 2017 at Hammond Stadium in Fort Myers, Fla. Calvary scored 6 runs in the first inning, and had 7 hits.
  3. Two girls found safe after being reported missing in New Port Richey

    UPDATE: Both girls were found safe Saturday night, police said.

  4. IT failure blamed for British Airways cancellations (w/video)

    Airlines

    LONDON — British Airways canceled all flights from London's Heathrow and Gatwick airports on Saturday as a global IT failure upended the travel plans of tens of thousands of people on a busy U.K. holiday weekend.

    Passengers wait at a British Airways check-in desk after the airport suffered an IT systems failure Saturday at London''s Gatwick Airport. [Associated Press]
  5. Calvary Christian routs Pensacola Catholic to win state baseball title

    Baseballpreps

    FORT MYERS — Calvary Christian left no doubt as to which baseball team in Class 4A was the best in Florida this season. The Warriors defeated Pensacola Catholic 11-1 in six innings Saturday night at Hammond Stadium to claim the school's first state championship in any team sport. It also solidified a 30-0 season. …

    Matheu Nelson celebrates after scoring on a wild pitch during the first inning, when Calvary Christian took a 6-0 lead.