Dog blamed for owner's death
Autopsy determines cause of death
Date published: 6/14/2011
BY KEITH EPPS
An autopsy has confirmed that one of David Quyon Haigler’s pit bulls was responsible for his death, police said.
Haigler, 38, was found dead Saturday at his home at 529 Olde Greenwich Circle in Spotsylvania County.
He was one the living room floor with obvious wounds to his arms, head and face, court records show.
Haigler was found by his 18-year-old son. Police were called about 6 p.m., but it is not clear how much earlier the attack had taken place. Haigler had last been seen early Saturday morning.
The 6-year-old pit bull accused in his death was loose in the home and initially would not let responding deputies in, Sheriff’s Lt. Col. Michael Timm said. Animal control officers were called to assist.
The second dog, also 6 years old, was chained in another area of the home.
Timm said the medical examiner’s investigation showed a clear indication of paw marks on the body and evidence of defensive wounds to Haigler’s fingers and hands.
An affidavit for a search warrant filed in Spotsylvania Circuit Court states that the room was in disarray and there was a wooden baseball bat on a sofa near the body.
Blood was on the floor, on several pieces of furniture and on the walls, court records state.
Detective Twyla DeMoranville attended the autopsy Monday in Richmond, Timm said.
Timm said both of the pit bulls are being held at the county animal shelter. Their fates had not been officially determined as of yesterday.
Timm said the investigation is almost over, except for the pending results of a toxicology screening.
Hawthorne man badly mauled by neighbor's dogs
By Cindy Swirko
Published: Friday, June 10, 2011 at 3:34 p.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, June 11, 2011 at 7:34 p.m.
(Update 7:20 p.m.) McSweeney underwent hours of surgery in an attempt to save his left arm, which was badly injured by the dogs. His right arm was completely ripped off and his face injured, the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office reported.
McSweeney was working in his yard at 259 Old Hawthorne Road when the attack occurred late Friday morning.
The dogs were owned by Deanna Blitch, of 261 Old Hawthorne Road. They have been euthanized.
A 74-year-old man was severely mauled by two dogs belonging to his neighbor near Hawthorne on Friday morning.
Roy McSweeney, of 259 Old Hawthorne Road in Putnam County, was rushed to Shands at the University of Florida for extensive surgery including an attempt to save one of his arms. The other arm had been completely ripped off by the dogs, said Putnam County Sheriff's Capt. Johnny Greenwood.
"He was in his yard doing yard work when the dogs jumped over the fence and attacked him," Greenwood said, adding that the fence was thin wire. "An investigator said the surgery would take six to eight hours."
Greenwood said McSweeney's right arm was ripped off by the dogs. His left arm was partially removed and his face was injured, Greenwood added.
The dogs were owned by Deanna Blitch, of 261 Old Hawthorne Road, and were described as pit bulls or pit mixes by Greenwood, a neighbor and Blitch's brother, Dan Dickerson.
Blitch said she was advised by her attorney not to comment. Dickerson said he and Blitch both are worried about McSweeney.
"Our concern is with Mr. McSweeney. He is a friend of our family. We've known him for years — he's always lived in this general area and in that house for maybe a year," Dickerson said. "I heard there was a brouhaha over here. I know he is in bad shape."
Deputies and rescue personnel responded to the attack at 11 a.m. and investigators determined the dogs belonged to Blitch, Greenwood said.
She turned the dogs over to authorities and the case remains under investigation.
Greenwood said the dogs were humanely euthanized and will be tested for rabies.
Man, 74, dies days after being mauled by dogs
These are the two dogs that attacked and killed Roy McSweeney in Putnam County, according to Robert Floyd, who says he was also injured by the animals. The dogs have been euthanized. The undated photo was provided through Floyd's attorney on June 15, 2011.
By Cindy Swirko
Published: Wednesday, June 15, 2011 at 2:05 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, June 15, 2011 at 10:26 p.m.
The 74-year-old Putnam County man mauled by two dogs last week died Wednesday, Putnam Sheriff’s Capt. Johnny Greenwood said.
Roy McSweeney was taken to Shands at the University of Florida following the attack late Friday morning. The dogs, which belonged to his next-door neighbor, ripped off one arm and severely injured his other arm along with his face.
Greenwood said the Sheriff’s Office received word from Shands that McSweeney had died at 4:18 p.m. Wednesday.
Man stabs pit bull during attack in Fort Worth park
Posted Thursday, Jul. 28, 2011
By Mitch Mitchell
FORT WORTH -- A 24-year-old man walking with his pregnant wife and 6-month-old son near Lake Como Park on Thursday afternoon drove off two pit bulls, stabbing one as it gripped his arm.
Gary Latimer had to get five stitches to close the wound in his arm, said his wife, Alisa Latimer.
One of the dogs is believed to be Mimi, a pit bull that was in the news last year when a municipal court judge declared her dangerous after an attack on an 84-year-old man. Her owner, Steven Woods, complied with a court order that saved Mimi from being euthanized.
Animal control officers and police are investigating the attack on the Latimers, said Brandon Bennett, Fort Worth code compliance director.
The dog that was stabbed was taken to an animal hospital, and the other dog was taken to the city animal shelter, Bennett said.
Both will be observed for rabies, he said.
Woods told officials that both dogs were his, Bennett said.
"We believe that one of the dogs was Mimi," he said.
Woods could not be reached to comment Thursday evening.
Alisa Latimer said she and her husband were walking toward a bus stop in the 5000 block of Wellesley Avenue about 5 p.m., pushing their son in his stroller, when the dogs ran toward them.
The male pit bull seemed to be the most aggressive, Latimer said. They began circling the couple and snapping at them while Gary Latimer reached for a knife from the bottom of the stroller, Latimer said.
"My husband told me to run, but I didn't want to run because I was pregnant, so I walked real fast going one way and he ran the other way," she said.
Both dogs followed her husband, who turned toward the dogs and began swinging his knife wildly. The female retreated, Alisa Latimer said. But the male dog attacked and locked onto her husband's arm between the shoulder and the elbow.
The dog let go after being stabbed, and both animals ran away, Latimer said.
"I'm just glad I wasn't by myself," she said.
Dog attack victim goes through two surgeries, dozens of pints of blood
Thursday, August 4, 2011 7:26 PM EST
By Som Lisaius - email
TUCSON, AZ (KOLD) - A man attacked by his own pit bull has gone through two surgeries and has limited use of his hands, according to family members. We're also told he needed 60 pints of blood.
Witnesses and emergency response personnel are describing Wednesday night's pit bull attack on the 61-year-old man as one of the worst they've ever seen.
"It wasn't growling or barking or anything like that . . . it just wouldn't stop biting, not like it was biting and letting go. It just wouldn't stop biting," said Fernando Lozano.
The man remains in the hospital, while his 65-pound dog, Butch, sits in quarantine at the Pima Animal Care Center.
Lozano, 21, was doing yard work with his stepfather about 6 p.m. Wednesday, when they heard screams coming from a yard down the street.
They immediately ran down an alley and looked over the fence. What they saw next, will probably stay with them forever.
"It literally looked like he was eating him," says Lozano, who threw large rocks at the dog but wasn't able to stop it. "I just felt helpless. I didn't have a firearm or anything. I couldn't have helped the guy any more than I did."
They called 911 and Pima County Sheriff's deputies were finally able to separate the dog from its owner, but had to use Tasers to subdue it.
"You could actually see where the skin had peeled back on his arms," Lozano says. "You could kind of see the muscles coming out. He had big gashes all over his arms."
"This definitely was one of the most severe dog-bite incidents that we've ever responded to. It was very, very serious," says Tracy Koslowski of the Drexel Heights Fire District.
UPDATE: (loses both arms)
Pit bull attack victim loses other arm
Sunday, August 14, 2011 10:04 PM EST
TUCSON, AZ (KOLD) – A Tucson man who was mauled by a pit bull earlier this month has lost both of his arms to amputation.
Doctors at University Medical Center amputated Michael Cook's right arm Monday, his sister, Toni Sweet, said. The 61-year-old's left arm was removed in an operation Friday.
Cook has been suffering from liver failure and has been on kidney dialysis. He also has deep gash on his right leg. His condition is critical.
"He will need extensive rehabilitation," Sweet told KOLD News 13 in a telephone interview from San Diego.
Cook, who is a musician and handyman, needed more than 100 pints of blood during the ordeal. His bleeding has stopped, she said.
The attack occurred near Valencia and Camino de la Tierra on Aug. 3.
The pit bull mix that attacked Cook was quarantined at Pima Animal Care Center.
Sweet said she was unsure whether the dog, named Butch, has been destroyed.
"That's the last thing on my mind," Sweet said.
Because Cook has been hospitalized at University Medical Center since the attack, Sweet said his two children, 16 and 21, "have been devastated."
Pregnant Pacifica woman killed by family pit bull
Peter Fimrite,John King, Chronicle Staff Writers
Friday, August 12, 2011
PACIFICA -- A pregnant Pacifica woman was mauled and killed by a family pit bull Thursday inside her home and discovered by her husband when he returned from work.
Darla Napora, 32, was found by her husband, Greg, at their house at 588 Reina del Mar around noon.
Greg Napora told police that he arrived home to find one of the couple's two pit bulls standing over his wife's body. He was able to get the dog into the backyard before police arrived a few moments later, according to Capt. Dave Bertini, a Pacifica police spokesman.
Attempts to revive Darla Napora were unsuccessful, and she was pronounced dead at the scene.
While the investigation was under way, Bertini said, the 2-year-old male dog got loose from the yard. Police fired three shots at the pit bull, killing it.
The family's second pit bull was not believed to have been involved in the attack, but was removed as a precaution by the Peninsula Humane Society, which provides animal control services for San Mateo County.
By late afternoon, police had left the scene and the house sat quiet, the front door slightly open. The only visible evidence of the horrific episode was a pool of drying blood on the gravel driveway near the front door.
Neighbor Kathy Carlson, 63, saw the distraught husband outside the house before the police arrived.
"He was in the driveway all frantic, yelling," said Carlson, who lives across from the white single-story home that the Naporas began renting last winter. "He had blood on his hands, blood on his shirt and blood down his pants."
Residents and visitors to the quiet block struggled to make sense of what had occurred.
"They are not barking dogs. They seemed friendly," Carlson said of the two pit bulls owned by the Naporas. "I have a pit also, and he's an absolute angel. It's just really sad."
A former neighborhood resident on the scene wasn't nearly so sympathetic to the presence of pit bulls.
"I'm scared to death of them," said Jeni Viny, 59, in Pacifica for a high school reunion. Viny of Nashville recalled being at a dog obedience class where a 4-month-old pit bull began attacking other dogs in the room. "I hate them."
The death of Darla Napora was not the first case in the Bay Area where pit bulls have killed members of the families that owned them.
In 2010, 2-year-old Jacob Bisbee was attacked by three dogs in his step-grandfather's Concord garage. The owner, Steven Hayashi, has since been charged with involuntary manslaughter.
Five years earlier saw the death of Nicholas Faibish, 12, who was mauled by his family's pit bulls in San Francisco after his mother left them alone in the house with her son, who had a learning disability.
Pit bull mauling of pregnant Pacifica woman remains a mystery
By Joshua Melvin and Lisa Fernandez
08/12/2011 03:57:18 PM PDT
A day after the family's pit bull fatally attacked his pregnant wife, Greg Napora said Friday he doesn't blame the dog. He even plans to bury his spouse, Darla, with their pet's cremated remains in her casket.
"They are the most loving animals I have ever had in my life. Whatever happened right now was not the breed's fault," said Napora, who found his wife dead when he returned to the couple's Pacifica home from his construction job with plans to take her to lunch Thursday. "It was just a freak accident."
Police shot and killed the dog, named Gunner, when they say he approached emergency workers, but Greg Napora said Gunner didn't charge them, as was reported by some media outlets.
Horrified neighbors left flowers in front of the tiny white house on Reina Del Mar Avenue, where a "Beware of the Dog" sign hung from the fence. Darla Napora loved her dogs -- 2-year-old male Gunner and a 6-year-old female pit bull, Tazi -- family said, and was an avid supporter of Bay Area Doglovers Responsible About Pit bulls, or Bad Rap, which seeks to change attitudes toward the polarizing breed.
J am a professional dog trainer of over 25 years in Melbourne and have been training Animal Management Officers and pet industry workers on dealing with aggressive dogs. Presuming the dog is a pit bull (only dna testing will tell us that), as a Restricted Breed the investigators need to find the source of purchase. These dog have been bred for one purpose â€“ to fight. They have a biting force of about 2000 lbs per square inch (on the old scale) and in comparison a trained German Shepherd Police Dog has around 400 lbs per square inch (enough to break your arm). The fact this dog allegedly escaped its backyard, entered another property and attacked the young girl, demonstrates this dog was a ticking time bomb. Some animal lovers will be saying "It's the deed not the breed".However, when the breed is more often than not associated with these attacks, it is time to take further action and ban the breed nationwide.
Tucson dog owner cited after pit bull attack
Oct. 7, 2011 07:00 PM
TUCSON - A Tucson dog owner has been issued a criminal citation after two of his pit bulls attacked and injured an 86-year-old man.
Tucson police said Friday that 24-year-old Kevin Nelson was cited for 14 misdemeanor violations of city code including having a vicious or destructive animal, having a dog at large and having an animal that wasn't vaccinated, licensed or wearing a tag.
Police say the victim was out walking his dog Wednesday morning when the pit bulls attacked him in an east Tucson neighborhood.
The man was bitten on his lower legs and taken to a Tucson hospital. His dog also was attacked.
Police say the victim and his dog both are expected to recover.
Officers say the two pit bulls were shot after continuing to act aggressive.
Are Pit Bulls Inherently Dangerous? Motion Asks Maryland High Court to Reconsider Strict Liability
Posted Jul 12, 2012 8:28 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss
Owners of pit bulls in Maryland are grappling with a state high court decision holding that the breed is inherently dangerous.
State lawmaker Heather Mizeur, who backed unsuccessful legislation to overturn the April decision, tells the Baltimore Sun that she has heard from pit bull owners who are getting eviction notices. Animal shelters are also concerned about liability. A task force is now drafting proposed legislation to limit the scope of the ruling, Mizeur said.
A motion to reconsider has been filed with the court, delaying the effect the decision, according to an opinion issued this week by the state attorney general.
The Maryland Court of Appeals ruled in the case of a pit bull named Clifford who escaped from his pen and attacked two boys on the same day. One of them was Dominic Solesky, who spent 17 days in the hospital and a year in rehabilitation recovering from the mauling. His family sued the dog owner’s landlord.
A lower court judge had granted judgment for the landlord because there was no negligence. The Maryland Court of Appeals reversed and remanded in a ruling that established in the present case, and going forward, there is no need in tort cases to prove a defendant landlord or dog owner has knowledge that a pit bull is aggressive.
“We are modifying the Maryland common law of liability as it relates to attacks by pit bull and cross-bred pit bull dogs against humans,” the high court said in its decision (PDF). “When an owner or a landlord is proven to have knowledge of the presence of a pit bull or cross-bred pit bull (as both the owner and landlord did in this case) or should have had such knowledge, a prima facie case is established. It is not necessary that the landlord (or the pit bull’s owner) have actual knowledge that the specific pit bull involved is dangerous. Because of its aggressive and vicious nature and its capability to inflict serious and sometimes fatal injuries, pit bulls and cross-bred pit bulls are inherently dangerous.”