Fox 4 investigates deputy who shot dog
LEE COUNTY - The Lee County Sheriff's Office paying thousands of dollars to the owner of a dog shot and killed by a deputy. It's a story we first broke earlier this week and tonight we're learning more about the deputy who pulled the trigger.
Four in your Corner investigator Mike Mason digging deeper, finding the officer has had problems in the past. Detective Tim Galloway is the one who shot the yellow lab. We dug through documents and found he's been involved in two other incidents that have turned deadly.
On May 23rd, while trying to serve a warrant, Lee County deputy Tim Galloway claims this yellow lab named Dogie became vicious and charged him, forcing him to shoot. Dogie's owner says she then asked Galloway why he did it.
Christina Waggoner: "Why'd you shoot my dog, that kind of thing crying and he goes, 'I don't have to deal with you ma'am’ and he walked away from me."
Dogie eventually died on June 3rd. His vet bill was nearly $3,000 dollars. Sheriff Mike Scott is now agreeing to pick up the tab.
Sheriff Mike Scott: "We don't feel like we're at fault so to speak, in other words we didn't have to pay the bill, we didn't have to do that. I feel it was the right thing to do, I really do."
Meanwhile, we reviewed Galloway's personnel file at the Sheriff's Office. We found in December of 2000, Galloway was disciplined after losing control of his patrol car and crashing. Two years later; another crash. This time he struck a pole in a carport. And in 2009, Galloway was involved in two deadly incidents.
In January of 2009, Galloway and other officers attempted to arrest a felon named Arthur Coleman. Officers say Coleman was armed with a handgun and tried to run over Galloway with his car. That's when officers opened fire, hitting Coleman 5 times.
The autopsy revealed, "Galloway's rifle was the cause of the fatal bullet wound to Coleman's head". The State Attorney's office determined the shooting was justified.
In July of 2009, Galloway was responding to a burglary. As he was driving his unmarked vehicle he struck a car that was making a U-turn. The driver was Mateo Matias and he was killed. One witness says Galloway did not turn his siren on and that's why Matias didn't hear him coming.
Miguel Colon - Witness: "He didn't have a chance. God took him right away. He didn't have a chance. He didn't have no chance at all."
The Sheriff’s Office contends Galloway did have his lights and siren on and he was cleared of any wrong-doing.
But last year, records show Galloway became "Very belligerent to a suspect, "Yelled profanities" at a woman and was even "disrespectful" towards his own Sergeant.
Sheriff Scott says Galloway has a high stress job which involves tracking down dangerous fugitives.
Sheriff Mike Scott: "He's doing a task that nobody else wants to do. He's in an extremely, extremely dangerous position; fugitive warrants. I can't think of anything in law enforcement that's more dangerous."
The deadly car crash Galloway was involved in is still in litigation. We found deputies have shot 26 dogs in the past 3 years but this is only the second time they have paid an owner’s vet bills during that time.