Walton Sheriff’s Deputy Who Shot Pit Bull is Cleared

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WALTON COUNTY-- The Sheriff's Office has received a steady stream of criticism for the March 11th incident in Miramar Beach.

A woman called Walton County Sheriff's deputies claiming her neighbor's pit bull ran up to her car, frightening her and her family.

When the deputy arrived, he says the same pit bull ran toward him and the woman.

The deputy says he stood between the dog and the family, then shot it.

"He physically put himself in between that family and that pit bull. He did something that was honorable, he put himself in harm’s way, and in doing that he had to use self-defense,” said Catherine Rodriguez, Public Information Officer for the Walton County Sheriff’s office.

Turns out the deputy was wearing a video camera that recorded his actions.

Sheriff's officials released the video Wednesday, saying it proves the deputy's actions were justified.

It even recorded the dog's owner.

"I understand you have to do your job man, I feel you, I feel you,” stated the owner of the pit bull.

"It actually gives full details of the incident that actually occurred,” said Rodriguez. “Because there has been a lot of what he did, what he said, what he didn't say and this video proves this deputy he did everything he was supposed to."

Rodriguez says deputies will begin stricter enforcement of the county's leash law to avoid incidents like this in the future.

Officials say the same pit bull attacked a child in August 2013, that wound up in the hospital, and had recently attacked another neighborhood dog.