CASTLE ROCK, Colo. -- A Douglas County deputy is being hailed a hero after his efforts led to the rescue of a dog from a burning SUV and the entire incident was captured on bodycam.
The scene unfolded on January 22 in a usually quiet suburban neighborhood outside Denver.
The video just released by the sheriff’s office showed Deputy Michael Gregorek arriving in the neighborhood to the smoke-filled SUV.
"Once I arrived on scene, the first thing I see is a gentleman, who ended up being the owner of the dog, throwing something at the back of the vehicle," Gregorek said in a video interview.
Gregorek said the first thing that came to his mind was that the incident resembled a previous case where officers caught a man throwing Molotov cocktails into a car.
The Douglas County deputy quickly realized the incident was not an unfolding crime but a rescue operation to save Hank, the dog, from the burning vehicle.
"I knew he was really in a bad way. And so my thought only at that point was he’s coming out with me. Regardless of, you know, whatever else might be happening, smoke or fire," Gregorek said.
With limited options, Gregorek smashed a side window and the vehicle’s back windshield with his baton.
The opening was large enough for the deputy to pull Hank out from the vehicle’s rear, with what were likely moments to spare.
Once free from the smoking vehicle, a nearby veterinarian examined the dog, who appeared to be in good spirits.