CASTLE ROCK, Colo. (AP/KDVR) — A sheriff’s deputy is being praised for smashing the windows of a burning SUV and rescuing a frightened dog in a Castle Rock neighborhood.
Douglas County Deputy Michael Gregorek’s body camera video from Jan. 22 shows him arriving on the scene as smoke pours from the driver’s side window of the SUV.
The owner frantically yells that his dog Hank is somewhere inside the locked vehicle. Gregorek asks the owner “where’s it at?” and whistles to get the dog’s attention.
He uses a baton to smash two windows before pulling Hank out from the back of the SUV after the owner could not get him out and quickly carried him to a nearby snowbank.
“Hank comes out to the back window. He’s salivating, you can tell that he’s in distress. Owner was trying to pull him out, not successfully,” Gregorek said in an interview on YouTube. “That’s his baby. I’m not going. to get in his way while he’s trying to rescue his baby but the second he opens up the opening for me, I just went in there and grabbed on.
His body had already kind of started to tense up so I knew he was really in a bad way. So my thought, only at that point, was he’s coming out with me regardless of whatever else might be happening — smoke or fire. Nothing else mattered at that point other than getting Hank out. of the car,” he said.
The neighbor is a veterinarian and she checked Hank out but he was fine. He was already sprinting around and ready to play.
The deputy explained in the YouTube interview, that he saw the owner throwing something at the back of the vehicle when he arrived and wasn’t sure what was going on. He said he had arrested someone a month before for setting cars on fire by throwing Molotov cocktails in them. But then he realized the situation and jumped into action.
“As tacky as it is to say, I’m a dog parent. That’s my only child is my dog. So I would’ve done the same thing whether it be a baby human, dog, cat. A life is a life, you kind of treat it as such in a situation like that,” Gregorek said.