Hollywood, Florida. (WSVN) – A South Florida pet owner said he was very upset and angry after his rescue dog was knocked over on the beach by a man in charge of making sure he was safe.
Ron Katz told 7News on Sunday that his six-year-old dog Rudy is his best friend.
Cellphone video recorded Katz marking the dog’s birthday.
“Happy birthday, Rudy. We’ve got a burger for you,” Katz can be heard saying in the video.
Katz said he also enjoys playing habaneros on the beach. Another video shows the two of them walking on the shore.
“We’re like a team,” he said.
But now Rudy’s barking and clanking collars had been replaced by piercing silence.
Katz grabbed his dog’s ashes and said he was angry.
He said Rudy was killed at Hollywood Dog Beach by a truck driven by lifeguards from the city’s Beach Safety Department.
“I took my eyes off him for a moment, and then, within a minute, someone started yelling, ‘Your dog, your dog!'” he said.
Katz said he ran over to find Rudy pinned under the truck’s front tire.
“I put Rudy on one of my towels and he was bleeding, and I got in the car and started driving to the Fort Lauderdale vet,” Katz said.
Sadly, Rudy did not survive.
City officials said Marine Safety Captain Leo Yost was driving his truck into the dog at 5 mph on a narrow path near the dunes.
However, in a phone interview with 7News, witness Dimitri Laskaris said that was not the case.
“He wasn’t going 5 mph, but simply put, it was negligence,” he said.
This isn’t the first time safety patrols have been involved in a Hollywood Beach crash.
Back in 2012, beach safety chiefs knocked down a sunbather, but this is the first time a dog has been hit.
Katz has filed a claim with the city, but he said the law only treats Rudy as property, not a family member.
Now Katz wants to change something.
“It was like a complete contradiction. He was in charge of all the safety on the beach, but he ran over my dog and killed him,” he said.
Katz has also filed a police report and is expected to receive a copy later this week. He said he is now looking for a lawyer.
As for what he would like to see change, Katz said trucks should not be allowed on the beach, only open-air vehicles so they can see better.
Katz added that the speed limit should have been slower and Yost needed to be held accountable.
As of Sunday night, Yost faced no charges. It is unclear whether he will face any disciplinary action.
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