Woman solves attacking
pit bull problem with handgun
Pit bull shot in attack on woman
2001 Blethen Maine Newspapers Inc.
March 29, 2001
HARPSWELL, Maine — A
local woman was defending herself when she fired a single shot from her 9 mm
Smith and Wesson semiautomatic, killing a pit-bull terrier that was attacking
her, authorities say.
Ramona Patterson was
standing in her front yard Tuesday when Jade, a neighbor's dog who had attacked
her before, ripping her clothing, charged her and began barking viciously and
nipping at her, authorities say.
This time, the 32-year-old
mother was armed.
Patterson was not charged,
but the dog's owner, Harold Owen, must go to court to answer charges of keeping
a dangerous dog and letting it run loose.
The violent confrontation
follows a series of incidents in which Jade, who was just a year old, and his
mother, a pit bull also owned by Owen, have been accused of terrorizing
"This dog has had a
considerable history, this one and the mother of it," said Dick Wyer, the
town's acting animal control officer. "The town itself was going for a
dangerous dog decree on him, but hadn't got around to it yet. If you have a dog
that's a biter, or attacks people, it can be deemed a dangerous dog" and
the town can take it or order it destroyed.
Owen, who lives nearby on
Harpswell Road, said Jade must have slipped his collar, said Sgt. Tom Williams
of the Cumberland County Sheriff's Department. Owen insisted the dog was no
threat and called him a lap dog.
But Patterson and her
12-year old son Zachary told police a different story.
The roughly 70-pound dog
had chased them before and had bitten Patterson. None of the injuries were
serious, or broke the skin, Williams said.
"There's been several
incidents. So far luckily no one has been seriously hurt. A lot of clothing torn
and bite marks, but not major skin breaks," Wyer said.
Neither Patterson or Owen
could be reached by telephone.
Wyer said problems between
Owen's dogs and neighbors have been occurring for the past six to eight months
with Jade, and longer than that with the dog's mother.
On Tuesday, just before
suppertime, Zachary Patterson was walking to his mother's house when he spotted
Jade standing on Zachary Way, the private drive they live on.
"From what I can
gather, her son was coming down from a relative's house," Wyer said.
"He let out a bellow 'cause the dog was coming after him. His mother went
out and the dog decided to make a run at her and that was his big mistake."
The dog leapt at Patterson
who was about 90 feet from her front door, Williams said. She shot once,
knocking the dog to the ground, went inside, set down the gun and called the
The dog crawled to a nearby
snowbank and died.
"This time he was
coming at her," Wyer said. "She's been gotten before, so I can't say I
Staff Writer David Hench
can be contacted at 791-6327 or at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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