You might have accidentally run over a squirrel or a skunk with your car sometime in the past, but what about intentionally gunning for a dog and killing it?
Based on surveillance video, that's what detectives said it looks like they're dealing with. St Pete Police said, if in fact the person behind the wheel intentionally ran that little dog named Snoopy down, he or she is in a world of trouble.
Snoopy's owner said he still can't believe his little buddy is gone.
"That's like my child," said Paul Alves, who is heartbroken. His Jack Russell terrier was run down in the alley behind his house in the Live Oaks neighborhood of St. Pete.
"This is my best friend, I come home and he's jumping 3-feet high because he's so happy to see me," said Alves tearfully. "I've had this dog since he would fit in my hand."
St. Pete Police said just before 8 a.m. Monday, a neighbor who lives across the way, saw the dark blue sedan coming down their alley.
Dave Kochis' security video caught it all.
"I hate to say yes, but it looks like there's some aggressive driving there, yeah," Kochis said.
"Initially it went by very slowly, going westbound in the alley. Then suddenly she saw the car turn around and come back the other way, this time much faster," said Mike Puetz with the St. Pete Police Department.
The neighbor who witnessed the incident told Paul.
"I see your dog at full speed, running down the middle of the alley as fast as it can go," said Alves.
In the video, you can see at the car's right front tire, there is a flash of white in front of it, which is Snoopy. The car drives right over him. Seconds later, you see Snoopy rolling into the grass, dead.
"And I walked out and I seen a cop car right in front of this dumpster. I come around this side of the cop car and I seen the dog lying right on the grass," said Alves. "Somebody murdered my dog. There's no doubt in my mind."
"There's a good possibility we may be talking about a neighbor or somebody off an adjoining block," Puetz said.
The driver will be charged with animal cruelty and leaving the scene of an accident with property damage.
"Because in the state of Florida, under our traffic laws, a dog would be considered property," Puetz explained.
"It isn't just a piece of property," said Alves adamantly. "It's literally part of your family."
Alves called Snoopy, "Houdini", because the dog was a constant escape artist, always finding ways to get through the fence around his yard.
"And I think he popped this picket loose and just went right through it," said Alves pointing to a loose picket.
"C'mon buddy!," said Alves as he walked Snoopy's little brother Petey, who now is lost without his constant companion.
"You do that to an animal, how much farther are you away from doing that to a human being?," asked Alves.
St. Pete Police hope to enhance still pictures taken from the security video, so they can get a clear read on the car's license plate. Alves said he's looking forward to getting his dog's body back from Animal Services, so his family can have a proper cremation and funeral for his beloved pet Snoopy.
Anyone with information can contact the St. Petersburg Police Department at 727-893-7780, Text-A-Tip to 727-420-8911 or leave a confidential tip at 727-892-5000.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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