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“I’m going for the pistol”: Westside homeowner left shaken after armed suspects crash into yard

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Two suspects are in custody and a Westside homeowner was left shaken after a hit-and-run accident led to a police pursuit that caused multiple businesses to temporarily close Saturday afternoon.

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Wesley DeCastro was in his backyard training his four Italian mastiffs Saturday afternoon.

“And I hear a loud bang and I realize it’s my fence,” said DeCastro.

That loud bang happened along Collins Road near Interstate 295, the same area where Florida Highway Patrol told Action News Jax that Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office was searching for a hit-and-run suspect. FHP asked for the agency’s assistance.

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DeCastro said his immediate reaction was to run and help.

He was prepared to use his CPR training to possibly save a life, but things quickly took a dramatic turn.

“And I realize bags start coming over my fence. And then one person hops over and a pistol flies over,” said DeCastro.

DeCastro said his Italian mastiff — Senior Oso — and his three other dogs jumped into action as a second man tried to scale his fence.

Read: Woman dead after apparent domestic dispute on the Westside

“And so, my dogs start going wild and the guy starts running around. And I’m going for the pistol,” said DeCastro.

DeCastro said he got the pistol as the men grabbed their bags and took off on foot.

He said he chased them down a nearby dirt road before turning back.

“I don’t know why I jumped back over trying to chase them. I should have just left them,” said DeCastro.

According to JSO, officers responded to a vehicle crash with injuries in which two individuals fled the scene on foot.

Read: Florida woman stopped from driving vehicle into 5K runners during race, police say

Action News Jax learned that nearby businesses, including Walmart, closed while police searched for the suspects.

JSO said one suspect was apprehended inside the Walmart.

The second suspect was taken into custody in the median of I-295 after a foot pursuit.

One of the suspects was charged with leaving the scene of a crash, reckless driving and resisting arrest without violence.

The second suspect has been charged with armed possession of a controlled substance and resisting arrest without violence.

Action News Jax was there as the banged-up vehicle that smashed into DeCastro’s fence was towed away.

DeCastro said he was shaken after the ordeal, but was thankful for his trusty Italian mastiffs and his family’s safety.

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“I have two children in the house and so they were in my backyard, and I guess next was probably coming through the front door, or the back door, and thank God for these guys,” said DeCastro.

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