Dogs bite neighbor, woman indicted
Tuesday, July 01, 2008
By DON TREUL
Texas law is taking a stronger approach to aggressive dogs responsible for injuring people, and Stephens County is right in the middle of that push.
The Stephens County grand jury indicted one dog owner following a June 21 hearing in
90th District Court.
According to 90th District evidence presented at the hearing, Teresa Morris was indicted for allowing two of her dogs to run unattended and at large on CR 322 southwest of the “mile long bridge” at Hubbard Creek Lake.
Two dogs attacked Tommy Thompson at about dusk Sunday, May 18, on the county road.
“One of the dogs was a pit bull and the other was a mixed breed,” he said.
Evidence from the testimony from the Stephens County Sheriff’s Office investigation provided at the hearing indicated that Morris allowed both dogs to leave her house, and that there was no secured area that kept the dogs from running at large.
According to Thompson, he was out for a walk along the country road when he saw the two dogs approaching him.
“I normally carry a stick with a sharp point to pick up trash,” he said.
That day, he did not have his stick.
Thompson said he jumped a chain-link fence to avoid the dogs.
“I hurt my leg when I jumped over,” he said. “And the dogs followed through an opening in the fence.”
He said he struggled to got back over the fence and landed against it when he fell on the other side.
“I couldn’t stand up,” he said.
One of the dogs was able to grab and bite his arm through a gap in the fence. He could only identify the one dog that bit his arm. He also was bitten on his back but he was not clear which dog did that, according to the evidence submitted at the hearing.
90th District Judge Stephen Crawford found that both dogs caused injuries. Morris was charged with criminal negligence, as defined by Section 6.03 of the Texas Penal Code. She was arrested Monday, June 30, and arraigned before Stephens County Justice of the Peace Mike Heatley. Bond, set at $10,000, was posted and she was released.
According to the Texas Health and Safety Code (§ 822.005), a person commits an offense if the person is the owner of a dog and the person who fails to secure the dog and the dog makes an unprovoked attack on another person that occurs at a location other than the owner’s real property or in or on the owner’s motor vehicle or boat and that causes serious bodily injury (as defined by Section 1.07, Penal Code), or death to the other person. Following hearing the evidence, Crawford ordered the destruction of both dogs.
Testimony at the hearing showed only that only the one dog bit Thompson to a point that caused permanent disfigurement and, therefore, is the only the dog, as defined by the Texas Health and Safety Code, that could be considered for an indictment.
http://www.breckenridgeamerican.com/new ... t-news.asp
Bless the Bullys