Man Beaten and Arrested by Police for Trying to Save His 3 Dogs from His Burning Home
Cocoa, FL — At 5 am on Wednesday morning, 58-year-old Wendell Joyner awoke to his house ablaze. However, after he ran from his home, he quickly realized that his three dogs were still inside.
“I got out of the house, and then I realized, ‘Oh, wait a minute, my dogs are in there,” Joyner told WKMG-TV. “So, I went back inside to look for my dogs.”
The smoke was so bad that Joyner had to keep returning outside to catch his breath while searching for his dogs. However, on the third time he came out for air, law enforcement on the scene told him to stay out.
Like most people would do when their beloved pets are threatened with being burned alive, Joyner ignored their demands. He then saw an opportunity to throw a firefighter’s axe through a window and attempted to go back in.
As Joyner heroically attempted to enter the window to save his dogs, he was tackled by multiple deputies who, he claims, used excessive force in bringing him down, which left him battered and bloody.
Joyner was then arrested and charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. He was taken to a nearby hospital for a CAT scan before being hauled off to Brevard County Jail.
“My defense is — I was trying to save my dogs,” Joyner said. “I think at the most, they should’ve taken me aside, and if they felt that I needed it — to be in a squad car until things settled.”
Standing by the actions of his deputies, Brevard County sheriff’s spokesman David Jacobs said they believed Joyner was intoxicated and feared for what he could have done with the axe. However, the intoxication claim has not been substantiated.
Jacobs warned that the charges were lenient considering the use of a firefighter’s axe could have landed Joyner with a felony.
Fortunately, the story does have somewhat of a happy ending, in spite of the charges, the Brevard County fire rescue team was able to save the dogs after Joyner was beaten and arrested.
They are now with him and his roommate who are staying with friends until they can rebuild. The roommates have since launched a go fund me to help get back on their feet.
Had Joyner been successful in his efforts, he would have been regarded as a hero, like the man in the video below. Or, he could have been seriously injured or killed — however, that was his choice. Instead, thanks to the Brevard County Sheriff’s department, this choice was denied and now he’s facing jail time.