Pasco County Sheriff's Deputy Brent Taber's forearm is finally healing, but the memory of a frightening encounter with a pit bull are still fresh.
"It's the first day I've really been clear on what's going on since it happened," Taber said Tuesday.
Taber was patrolling a Zephyrhills neighborhood on Sunday to serve a warrant. When he stopped to speak to a resident in the area, a dog barreled toward him. Taber says the dog latched onto his limb in seconds.
"I was seated in the front seat. He came around the door and got a hold of my arm and was dragging me out," Taber recounted.
Taber tried to break loose.
"Once he got a hold, he just did this real rapid shake," he said.
Taber says he had to make a decision: the dog's life or his own. He opened fire and fatally wounded the pit bull.
"My last resort was to do that, but I didn't have a choice. I knew he was going to kill me," Taber said.
Taber's injuries are extensive.
"I looked down at my arm and the insides of my arm were actually starting to come out. I looked and thought to myself, that should really hurt but it doesn't. There wasn't really any pain to it. I think that was just the adrenaline," he said.
The dog's owner says the pit bull was normally kept inside, but was out to use the bathroom.
Taber says he's focused now on the future. He's already been through one surgery to mend the torn tissue. While dozens of stitches serve as a vivid reminder of the attack, Taber's eager to return to his Pasco County patrol.
"This is my job. This is what I love to do. So as soon as I can get back to work, that's what I plan to do," he said.
Deputy Taber was released from Tampa General Hospital late Tuesday afternoon. The Pasco County Sheriff's Office is conducting a routine internal review into his use of lethal force. He's expected to return to work as soon as he recovers.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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