NEW PORT RICHEY — Pasco County sheriff's Deputy Kerry Kempink left his patrol car outside the gate at a home on Bellamy Bros. Boulevard in Darby last Friday afternoon and climbed the fence.
Kempink walked the quarter-mile up the driveway toward the house, where an alarm company had alerted the Sheriff's Office of a possible intrusion through the back door. But before Kempink could case the house, he was charged at by two 80-pound Rottweilers. Feeling threatened, Kempink unholstered his gun and shot one of the dogs, named Cowboy, when it got too close.
The entire incident was captured on Kempink's body-worn camera.
Sheriff Chris Nocco defended Kempink at a news conference Thursday. "He did what he did to protect himself," the sheriff said. "I don't think an Olympic runner could have outrun those dogs."
After Kempink shot the dog, Carla Gloger, the home-owner, is seen in the video running out of the house. She ordered Kempink to "shoot (the injured dog) all the way."
The Rottweiler was standing upright, but limping. The deputy complied with Gloger's request and killed Cowboy.
Gloger, whom the Times could not reach Thursday, told Kempink that her home alarm had not gone off, that the deputy had no right to be on her property and that he should not have shot her dog.
Nocco explained that home security companies call 911 in the event an alarm is tripped and they cannot make contact with the homeowner. Gloger's security company had called 911 to report an intruder.
"If she doesn't want us out there," Nocco said, "remove the alarm system."
To help demonstrate why Nocco thought Kempink was justified in shooting, the sheriff showed a photo of a deputy who had been mauled by a dog.
"I know for a fact (Kempink) wishes it never happened the way it ended like that," Nocco said. "But when he's put in a horrific situation that he can't get himself out of, because those dogs can clearly outrun him and there was nowhere for him to go, bad things can happen."
Nocco also said Thursday that investigators are looking into a 72-year-old man from Deland who made threats against deputies because he was outraged by the shooting.
Deputies have visited Gloger's home more than 30 times since 2011 for incidents including several alarms.
Contact Josh Solomon at (813) 909-4613 or email@example.com. Follow @josh_solomon15