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. Today: Scientology to film mock FBI raid on downtown building

    Special Topics

    CLEARWATER — The Church of Scientology will be filming a mock FBI raid on its downtown campus Monday at 3 p.m., according to the Clearwater Police Department.

    According to Clearwater Police, the Church of Scientology plans to hold a mock FBI raid at 3 p.m. Monday at this vacant building at 305 N Fort Harrison Ave. Police announced the raid in advance to alert the public. They said they did not know the reason for the event. [Google Earch image]
  2. Ranking Malik Zaire among 2017's top transfer quarterbacks

    Blogs

    The Florida Gators' Malik Zaire is among many transfers who could become starters at their new school. Here's how he stacks up in our rankings of top transfer quarterbacks:

  3. Video shows giant humpback whale breaching right off side of boat

    Environment

    A man filmed a whale breaching really close to his boat in a video that has gone viral.

    A giant whale breached right next to a boat in the waters off New Jersey last week. It was captured on video.
  4. Lightning re-sign Yanni Gourde to two-year, one-way deal

    Blogs

    Just three years ago, Yanni Gourde was fightning to stay in pro hockey.

    Yanni Gourde seized his moment with six goals in 20 games as a callup last season.
  5. Next up in Bucs renovations? A $20 million indoor practice facility

    Bucs

    Renderings of the Bucs' new indoor practice facility (Courtesy of the Bucs)