A Carson City deputy who is a candidate for sheriff fired at least two shots at a "teddy bear" of a dog Monday night, causing it to run off in pain before dying in a neighbor's yard, the dog's owner said Tuesday.
Deputy Bob Guimont, 35, an officer with the Carson City Sheriff's Department for the past eight years, was dispatched to the 500 block of West Second Street at 8:49 p.m. for a reported domestic dispute.
Dog owner Dan Elliott said he and his fiance, Dede Mefferd, were arguing when Mefferd went into the kitchen and called police.
According to dispatch reports, Mefferd told police Elliott was refusing to let her leave with their 9-month-old baby. She said Elliott was not drinking and didn't have a weapon.
At 8:50 p.m., Guimont and another officer arrived at the couple's home. While one officer went to the side of the house, Guimont went to the front door and was waved in by a 15-year-old boy in the living room, said Chief Deputy Scott Burau.
Guimont said he entered the home and was immediately confronted by a large white dog named Jake.
"This dog comes into view and starts to run at me. I'm yelling, 'Get the dog! Get the dog!' I'm backing out still yelling for someone to stop the dog. I draw my weapon just as I get to the door and I'm taking aim at the dog and I'm fighting to get the door open," he said.
As he left the house, Guimont said, he began to stumble down the three steps of the porch.
"I start to stumble down those steps and I am trying to shut the door, but the dog beat me to it before I could get the sucker shut. All the time I'm yelling, 'Get the dog! Get the dog!'"
Guimont said he was just about to the sidewalk when the dog lunged at him and came within two feet of him.
"It came at me and I fired two shots," he said.
Elliott's version is different from the officer's.
He said Guimont was more like 10 feet from the dog when he fired a rapid succession of what he thought was three shots into Jake.
"My dog is merely standing on our grass. I get my hand on the dog and he fires three shots at him no sooner than I am a half second away from detaining the dog," Elliott said. "The whole time I'm begging him, 'Please don't shoot my dog, he won't hurt you.'"
Elliott said his reaction was anger.
"I yelled at him, 'You just shot my dog, you son of a bitch. You just shot my dog for no reason.'"
He said Guimont responded, "Sir, back off or I might have to shoot you."
Guimont vehemently denies saying anything of that sort to Elliott.
"I never said that or pointed my weapon at him," he said.
Both men agree that once Jake was shot, he ran off yelping into a neighbor's yard, where he succumbed to his injuries. The other deputy called for a veterinarian. Investigators arrived to gather evidence.
Burau said the report would be reviewed by an independent panel of three people.
Guimont said he didn't use his pepper spray because it has minimal effect on animals and he didn't use his baton because it takes too long to get it out and open it.
"I wasn't happy with that outcome at all. I wish it could have ended differently. Every animal has an instinct to protect their home," Guimont said. "This dog poked his head around the corner, saw me, engaged me, and I was able to make it out of the house, but wasn't able to shut that door. I was left with no choice but to defend myself."
Elliott said Jake was 8 years old and the sweetest dog he'd ever known. He found him as a puppy in a garbage can in Southern California.
"I just loved that dog. Everyone loved that dog," he said.