December 16, 2018
Personal Injury Lawyer
Fox 4 News is reporting that two people have been charged with felonies in connection with a mauling in September by two of their dogs in Arlington, Texas.
The 58-year-old victim, Milton Sturges, was viciously attacked by two pit bulls while he was handing out flyers and lost his nose and ears as a result. In an affidavit provided by police, doctors who treated Sturges labeled the incident as the worst dog mauling they have ever seen. As a result of the brutal attack, police in Arlington tracked down the owners of the dogs, 39-year-old Michelle Taylor and 37-year-old Lerondrick Taylor, and arrested them over the incident. Michelle Taylor turned herself in, and Lerondrick was already in custody on unrelated charges.
Lieutenant Chris Cook with the Arlington Police said the department believes the dogs were getting out of the house and roaming the area on a regular basis. Cook noted that it is lucky no children were killed or seriously harm by the dogs, whom police say the owners were unable to control.
To stop the attack on Sturges, police officers were forced to fire on and kill the animals. Although the attack took place near the end of September, it took the investigators on the case some time to determine where the animals had come from. Police documents show that the owners tried to use another dog to prove to police that their animal was alive and well and that the attacking dogs did not belong to them.
According to investigators, it was the uncovering of removed Facebook posts that allowed them to trace the two vicious dogs to the home of the Taylors, even though they had deleted the Facebook account previously.
One witness, who declined to be named but did speak to the area news, said she saw the dogs actually latch into Sturges during the attack, which was incredibly violent. Lt. Cook also added that the victim nearly died from his injuries and will have a lot of facial scarring for the rest of his life due to all the medical procedures needed to restore his face.
In Texas, there is an “attack by dog” charge that can be used to elevate dog bite cases from civil proceedings to criminal ones. Due to the severity of the mauling, the Arlington Police decided to use this state law for the first time, which has resulted in felony charges against the Taylors. The couple is now facing a fine of of up $10,000 and a possible jail sentence of two to ten years.
Sturges is currently recovering at his home, and police say he was pleased to hear they made the arrests in his case.
When animal owners are not responsible, someone else often pays the price. If you have been attacked by a dog and suffered injuries or losses because of it, you may be entitled to compensation from the person responsible for that animal. Talk to the best dog bite lawyer Denver, CO offers about your case today to protect your rights.
Thank you to our friends and contributors at the Law Office of Richard J. Banta, P.C. for their insight into dog bites and personal injury claims.