Services Pending for Deputy Drowned Trying to Save Dog

Funeral arrangements are pending for a Harris County Sheriff's deputy who drowned while trying to rescue the family dog from a canal in eastern Harris County. The story from David Pitman.

According to the Harris County Sheriff's Office, Patrol Deputy Eddie Wotipka had just arrived at his home in Baytown late last night when neighbors told him of some dogs at a nearby canal.

Wotipka went to canal to see what was going on, when his own dog ended up in the water.  Wotipka, still in uniform, jumped into the canal to retrieve the English Bulldog.  His wife noticed he wasn't coming to the surface, and she jumped in the water in an effort to save him.

Neighbors rescued Wotipka's wife, who escaped injury.   But they couldn't get to the deputy.  The sheriff's office Marine Unit and Dive Team searched for several hours before finding Wotipka's body about 150 feet from the spot where he originally jumped in the canal.  The body of his dog was also recovered.

Deputy Wotipka was 51-years-old, and had served with the Sheriff's Office since 1993.  Survivors include his wife, Karen, and two adult children.

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David Pitman

Local Host, Morning Edition

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