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Florida man arrested after grabbing firefighter’s ax to try and rescue dogs from burning home

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When fire broke out at a home in Cocoa, Florida, early Wednesday morning, the homeowner ran outside –but then quickly realized his three dogs were still trapped inside.

58-year old Wendell Joyner didn’t hesitate to run back in and save the dogs–  after a TV in the home burst into flames and smoke quickly spread through the entire duplex .

He ran inside, then back out several times, but the smoke was just too overwhelming.  At that point, he picked up an ax that belonged to the firefighters on-scene and smashed one of the windows, hoping to free his dogs.

Deputies tackled Joyner to the ground.  He was charged with two misdemeanors, but could have been charged with a felony for picking up the ax.  After a short time at the Brevard County Jail, Joyner returned to his home, where  News 6 caught up with him. He was still battered and bloodied, with bandages on his face.

As for whether the sheriffs deputies used too much force in taking him down,  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.”

He says he was just desperate to rescue his dogs as the house rapidly filled with smoke …

Thankfully, firefighters were able to save all the dogs. They’re staying with family members now, until the house is safe to return to.

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