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Rottweiler is shot after attack on child; no charges expected

Originally ran here as:
"Rottweiler is shot after attack on child; no charges expected"
by Jennifer Biggs
November 18, 2001

SOUTHAVEN, TENNESSEE -- Southaven police said Saturday they don't anticipate charges being filed in connection with a dog attack Friday afternoon in which a 145-pound Rottweiler attacked a 5-year-old boy who lived next door.

Cindy Baney and two neighbors wrestled with the dog in an attempt to get it off Baney's son, Michael Baney. An unidentified passerby eventually shot and killed the dog with a hunting rifle.

Michael was in satisfactory condition Saturday at LeBonheur Children's Medical Center, with damage to an artery and lacerations and contusions.

Southaven police chief Tom Long said Saturday he doesn't think any criminal charges will be filed against the dog's owner, Ricky Rickett, or the man who shot the dog.

"The dog was locked up, it wasn't out running loose," Long said. "And the guy who shot him apparently tried to get the dog off, too, and when he couldn't he asked (Rickett's sister) if she wanted him to go get his gun.

"Unless things change somehow, no charges will be filed."

The attack occurred about 3:30 Friday afternoon.

Michael was with his mother in the yard of their Colonial Hills home when the 6-year-old Rottweiler, Bonzo, ran out the front door of Rickett's home and grabbed the boy around his chest, back and arm.

Cindy Baney tried in vain to get the dog off her son, and two men from the neighborhood also tried.

"The three of them couldn't get the dog off, so this man had to kill the dog," said Michael's father, Ron Baney.

Rickett said he's glad the man who shot the dog came along when he did. "I hated that Bonzo had to be shot, but it's a blessing that this man came by when he did. I'm just glad he did what he did."

Rickett said he always kept his dog secured in the house. On Friday, Rickett was at work and his sister accidentally let the dog out.

"Apparently when she opened the door, the dog just shot out," Long said.

Baney's father knows it could have been worse.

"The doctor said that if one of the bite marks had been about an eighth of an inch higher or if the attack had gone on for a few seconds longer, he wouldn't be here now," Ron Baney said.

He said he believes the neighbors, including the passerby, and the Southaven police officers who responded to the call worked together to save his son's life.

"Imagine being brutally attacked by an animal," Baney said, "and then having all these people just come from out of nowhere to help you."

Jennifer Biggs: (901) 333-2011

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