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. Roberto Aguayo, Jonathan Drouin, Tim Beckham are coming for revenge

    Bucs

    Forget the Three Tenors.

    Make it the Three Terrors.

    The 2017 Unfulfilled Expectations Tour is about to hit Tampa Bay.

    From left, former Bucs kicker Roberto Aguayo, ex-Lightning forward Jonathan Drouin and former Rays infielder Tim Beckham. [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times; DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times; Getty Images]
  2. Carlton: A moment of sanity when citizens finally said no

    Courts

    If you were looking for some small sign of sanity in the world, here's one courtesy of the people of Tampa and Hillsborough County.

    The Confederate memorial statue outside the old Hillsborough courthouse is now boxed up in plywood to prevent vandalism. Private donors have ponied up money to have the statue relocated to a cemetery. [JIM DAMASKE  |  Times]
  3. Review: Jason Aldean fires up a country-dude party at Tampa's MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre

    Blogs

    Country music has a dude problem.

    I’m not talking about the proliferation of mindless bro country over the past half-decade, nor am I referring to the fact that most of Nashville’s best music these days comes not from said bros, from female singers and songwriters.

    Jason Aldean performed at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre in Tampa on Aug. 18, 2018.
  4. President Trump offers prayers for Kissimmee police

    Blogs

    President Donald Trump reacted to the police shooting in Kissimmee: