GULF COVE, Fla.- Charlotte County Sheriff's deputies responded to a call at 11:00 a.m. Tuesday concerning two dogs charging at a man out for his morning walk in Gulf Cove when he fatally shot one of them. A witness told CCSO he saw the entire incident in the area of Gillot Boulevard and Holton Terrace.
Deputies met with Frank Gross, 63, who lives several blocks away on Flemming Street. He advised he was out for his usual five-mile walk along the same route he takes every day. He said two large Boxer dogs were let out of the home at 5403 Holton Terrace and were not on leashes. Gross said he was across the street and the two dogs came charging towards him. He said he yelled for the dogs to get back, but they kept coming. Fearing for his safety, Gross told deputies he reached into his fanny pack and withdrew a .22 caliber pistol and fired one shot killing one of the dogs; the second dog fled.
Deputies met with the owner Michael Bustamante, 28, who confirmed he let “Astro” a 2½ year old 65-pound boxer, and “Libby” a 4-year old 60 pound boxer, outside without leashes to “do their business in the yard.” Bustamante, who was visibly upset, said his dogs often wandered from the yard, but were friendly and would never attack or hurt anyone. Deputies talked to a witness who said he saw the dogs charging across the street towards the man and saw him pull out a gun and shoot at the dogs that were barking and charging at him. The dog (Astro) was about a foot away from where Gross was standing when shot.
CCSO detectives and Charlotte County Animal Control also responded. Detectives reported Gross had a valid concealed weapons carrying permit. Animal Control declined to issue a citation as Bustamante had suffered a loss. CCSO reported the case as closed.