John Niedzwiecki, 74, of 350 Long Swamp Road, encountered the animal, which has been described as a Pit Bull, outside his home on May 10, around 2:30 p.m., according to the arrest warrant. Police wrote in the document that the 74-year-old was able to get into his house and out of harm’s way before he retrieved his gun and went back outside.
According to the warrant, Niedzwiecki told police the dog, which was initially about 30 to 40 feet away, was barking at him while he was walking toward his truck. He said the animal did not charge at him, but it did slowly walk closer to him.
Niedzwiecki told police he ran inside his home and retrieved his rifle before heading back outside. The dog, which was now about 10 feet away, continued barking aggressively, the warrant said.
Niedzwiecki then fired one round into the Pit Bull’s chest, police said. The wounded animal ran into a wooded area.
Niedzwiecki told police his mother lost both her hands in 2015 and nearly died during an encounter on the same property with a different Pit Bull. That, combined with his 25 years of military training, “were factors in how he reacted,” he told police, the warrant said.
Police were able to find the injured Pit Bull and get it to a veterinarian. It suffered internal bleeding in its chest cavities and needed air removed from both cavities, the warrant said. The medical bills totaled over $4,000, police noted in the warrant.
Police also noted in the warrant that Niedzwiecki was not in any imminent danger once he was able to make it into his home.
“A reasonable person would have remained in their house or dialed 911 to request police assistance,” police wrote in the warrant.
Niedzwiecki was arrested Friday and charged with first-degree wounding or killing an animal, unlawful discharge of a firearm and injuring a companion animal. He is free without having to post bond and is scheduled to be arraigned in New Britain Superior Court on July 14.