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Tampa police officer fatally shoots pit bull as it attacks deputy

TAMPA — A police officer shot and killed a pit bull Tuesday morning as it attacked a Hillsborough sheriff's deputy who was trying to serve an eviction notice.

Tampa police Officer Stephen Letteri, a 21-year veteran, was dispatched to 2609 N Armenia Ave. after someone called to report loose, aggressive dogs, police said. The caller said dogs chased kids as they walked to school and attacked a man walking to work. The man jumped on the hood of a car as the dogs bit at his pants leg, but he was not injured.

Letteri arrived and saw the dogs on the front porch of 2605 N Armenia Ave.

A few minutes later, Hillsborough Deputy Jack Brock pulled up behind Letteri's car to serve an eviction notice at the house.

When Brock got out of his car, the dogs charged him and started biting his right leg, police said. Brock tried to escape over a fence, but one of the dogs latched onto his leg. That's when Letteri shot at the dog, which turned to charge at him.

Letteri shot again and killed the dog. Brock was taken to University Community Hospital with puncture wounds to his leg. Sheriff's spokeswoman Debbie Carter said he returned to work later Tuesday.

Hillsborough County Animal Control confiscated the dead dog and another dog at the home. The dogs belonged to someone who moved out of the house before the eviction notice was served, police said. Officers are trying to find the owner.

Tampa police officer fatally shoots pit bull as it attacks deputy 11/03/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 3, 2009 11:26pm]

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