GALT, CA - As many watched the SWAT standoff unfold outside of a foreclosed Galt home, Dale Templeton had a feeling the man inside wasn't going to surrender and risk losing his dogs.
Templeton said he called his old acquaintance, suspect Joseph Corey, Wednesday afternoon to offer to take in his animals. He said he only got a busy signal.
"When I was at his house, his most interesting item was the dogs," said Templeton, who knew Corey briefly several years ago. "He wanted to show his Catahoula hounds off. That was his pride and joy."
Templeton and Corey served on the board of directors for the Galt Fire Protection District from 2000 to 2004. Templeton said Corey was very intelligent and was a highly skilled electrician who worked on a project for him.
Templeton is one of the few people who claims to have spent time with Corey. Corey's neighbors said they rarely saw him and other board members didn't recall any conversations with him.
"He was reserved. You don't get to know him real well," said Templeton. "As a board member, he was fiscally responsible."
But court records show Corey had personal financial problems. He filed for bankruptcy twice and his house on 1st Street was foreclosed last year. Corey and Citibank fought in court over his eviction all this past year.
Templeton said he was surprised to hear Corey was having any trouble.
"I always had a hard time with new board members understanding that you had to save enough money to make it through the whole year. He was one who did understand that," Templeton said.
Templeton said he hadn't seen Corey in six years. He remembered Corey's front yard as being well-kept, but police volunteers outside the property Friday morning said debris and piles of boxes were in the yard well before the standoff began.
"I'd never been inside the house, but the yard was fairly clean and he kept a nice dog run, which was his main issue," Templeton said.
Templeton said he believes Corey may have been more afraid of losing his dogs than he was his house Wednesday.