Hog Charges Officer

Walton County deputy sheriff is charged by vicious wild hog.

Chad Cain | July 18, 2018

Working in law enforcement can result in some interesting calls, but some calls go beyond what even an officer of the law can imagine.

Rock Podeszwa, a deputy sheriff in Walton County, recently received a call around five o’clock in the afternoon regarding a vicious and angry wild hog.

“At first I thought for sure it was going to be like a piglet or a domestic pig,” Rock said. “I was receiving information from dispatch that the wild hog was trying to attack and charge the neighbor, trying to charge the female and trying to get at her goat and her dog.”

Rock is an avid hunter, having hunted in places from Africa to New Zealand to most of the lower 48 states. Hog hunting is among some of his favorite hunting pastimes. It is not a coincidence he was on the call.

As Rock pulled up to the homeowner’s house where the hog was located, a neighbor shot the hog in the stomach. Rock saw it run and then hunker down after it had been shot. As many may know, an injured animal can lead to an angry animal.

“Not only are we dealing with an angry… wounded pig, he felt pressure because we had dogs barking, goats going crazy, and now he’s got us,” Rock said.

He then stepped out of his patrol car and asked the neighbor to step back and let the officers take control of the situation. They had initially already made contact with animal control to see if they could round it up, tie it down and maybe release it back into the wild, but things had changed by the time they arrived.

“Our intent was not to kill this hog,” Rock said. “With the totality of the circumstances, I had to do what I had to do to protect my people, protect the lady that dialed 911 and to protect her property.”

Rock began to close the gap between him and the hog to ensure a more accurate shot. He had not taken 10 steps before the hog jumped up and began to charge him.

“When I got to look at him, I immediately distinguished it was a wild hog and not a domestic pig or somebody’s pet,” Rock said. “Out of the hundreds of hogs that I’ve killed, I’ve only had two charge me.”

Rock did what only a true hunter and officer would do in the moment; he pulled out his 9mm pistol and shot the hog right between the eyes, dropping him in his tracks.

Hogs are usually nocturnal animals, so with it being in someone’s backyard in the middle of the day made this situation all the more interesting. While the homeowner had never seen a wild hog in her yard before, it isn’t highly unlikely that one would have found its way there. The Alcovy River is nearby, which Rock says is infested with hogs, and Walton County is loaded with hogs.

For his first ever run-in with a wild hog in the police department, Rock felt like he did what he needed to do.

“In Georgia, deer, ducks and hogs is what we do, so I knew how to handle that situation,” Rock said.

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