St. Petersburg police officer shoots dog that owner said was vicious

Published April 1, 2013

ST. PETERSBURG — A police officer shot a dog that tried to bite him as he left a scene over the weekend, authorities said.

Officer Daniel Boccia was sent to a home in the 200 block of 48th Street N about 5:30 a.m. Saturday for an argument between a man and a woman.

The subject of the fight? The couple's tan 60-pound pit bull.

The woman was upset that the man let the dog run loose, police said.

"She admitted the dog was vicious," police spokesman Mike Puetz said. "She said the dog will bite people."

Boccia defused the situation without arresting anyone, police said. But as he headed back to his cruiser, he encountered the pit bull in question.

At least twice, police said, Boccia kicked the dog away and shouted as it growled and lunged at him. On the third time, Boccia fired three shots with his department-issued Glock.

Two of the bullets hit the dog, which ran off.

Police searched for the dog after the incident and could not find it, officials said.