A Hernando County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) telecommunicator resigned after admitting to investigators that he faked a report that he was wounded when a pair of young men attempted to steal his vehicle at gunpoint.
The HCSO said that around 3:30 a.m. on June 30, deputies went to the area of Shoal Line and Cortez boulevards in response to a report from HCSO telecommunicator 22-year-old Dakotah Wood that while he was at Linda Pedersen Park, two unknown black men attempted to steal his vehicle, threatened to kill him with a firearm then shot him in the thigh.
At the scene, Wood told deputies that the shooter collected the spent shell casing before fleeing the area on foot.
The Weeki Wachee man also said that he had used his own personal firearm in self-defense to shoot at the pair at least five times and that he thought he had shot at least one of the would-be carjackers at least once.
After the shooting, Wood told deputies that he left the park and drove to the intersection of Cortez and Shoal Line boulevards to avoid the suspects.
Members of the HCSO forensic unit arrived at the scene to collect evidence and process the scene. Wood was taken to an area hospital for treatment of the gunshot wound.
At the hospital, he admitted to detectives that he drove to the park after becoming upset “over issues” with his girlfriend and that he was wounded in the thigh while he was “playing with his gun,” and the firearm accidentally discharged.
He admitted to fabricating the car-jacking story in order to avoid “getting into trouble.”
In response, deputies arrested Wood and booked him into the Hernando County Detention Center on charges of tampering with or fabricating physical evidence, making a false crime report, and discharging a firearm in public or on a residential property.
Wood resigned from his position with the HCSO while the investigation was underway.
He was released on July 1 on bond.