Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Westerman pleads guilty to 19 counts of financial fraud.

 One of the Ohio pair of pit bull fraudsters, Luke Westerman entered a guilty plea in the financial fraud case against him.  This case has meandered through the courts endlessly but came to an end yesterday with the guilty plea.  It is to be hoped that Steffen Baldwin's case will soon conclude as well.  Baldwin is scheduled to stand trial in early December.   

Westerman's guilty plea covered 19 unlawful securities practices.  It is possible Westerman might serve a total of 31 years and 6 months in prison for these crimes but the prosecution and the defense jointly recommend PSI, Community Control - 5 years, and restitution of $1,096,656.09.  The recommendation is not binding upon the court. Given the fact that Westerman's reported wealth was either stolen from his clients or totally imaginary, how is he going to manage restitution? 

Quick review, Westerman posed as a wealthy entrepreneur heading multiple businesses.  This status allowed him to virtue signal endlessly, pushing pit bulls became a huge sideline.  The partnership between Westerman and Baldwin caused the suffering of animals in Baldwin's case and financial pain to those who invested with or worked for Westerman.   Click here for a quick review.  For a far more comprehensive look at Westerman please read Unmasking a con on Dogsbite.org   

To be fair, who would trust this individual with their money?  Westerman is scheduled to be sentenced on November 18th.  

 For some insights into Westerman's fraud and thought process, please click here.  This is how Westerman presented himself to the world. His self-satisfaction was both stunning and laughable.   

We look forward to Baldwin's trial.  

Sunday, October 3, 2021

Another pit bull death in Akron Ohio, Updated 10/7/2021


Akron Ohio 

Summit County

A sixteen-month-old child was killed by pit bulls in Akron Ohio.  Details are sketchy at this time but it is reported that the little girl was in the living room of a home when a disagreement broke out between a 20-year-old man and a woman, not the parents of the child.  Two pit bulls were present in the room per Fox 8 News and police feel that the argument "riled up the pit bulls" enough that the dogs attacked the child.  The little girl was transported to Akron Children's Hospital where she was pronounced dead. 

Akron's last pit bull fatality was in 2020, also a small child.  This is the twenty-third dog attack fatality in Ohio since the Ohio Legislature passed HB 14 to deregulate pit bulls in the state.  That bill was written by the legal staff at Best Friends Animal Society in Kanab Utah.  Why is an organization located in Utah writing law for the State of Ohio?  Good question and I can't answer it. 

Best Friends assured Ohio residents that their "breed-neutral" bill would make our communities safer.  Quick review, 23 deaths in the nine years since HB 14 was passed.  In the decade prior to the passage of HB 14 Ohio had 5 fatal dog attacks. Does this sound safer to you? Best Friends breed-neutral law has been a colossal failure but they don't accept responsibility for it.  How do these people sleep at night?      

Update - The child has been named, she was Ka'Vay Louis-Calderon.  A heartbreaking video shows a beautiful and loved child. 

Details revealed include a bite history for one of the dogs and that the child was frequently in the home and had lived there in the past. 

Ka'Vay's parents hope to start a foundation to help victims of vicious dog attacks.


Friday, August 13, 2021

Another fatal pit bull attack in Toledo.

 August 13, 2012

Lucas County Ohio

There has been another fatal pit bull attack in Toledo, the second in just a month's time.  This attack was reported in the Toledo Blade.  It must be tough for the Blade reporters to write these stories and it is surprising that the Blade is publishing them.  The Blade was at the center of the effort to re-write Ohio law in order to deregulate pit bulls in Ohio.  That effort was successful in 2012 and in the nine years since passage of HB 14 Ohio has seen 22 fatal dog attacks.  It must be noted that Ohio had five fatal dog attacks in the decade prior to the passage of HB 14, sponsored by Ohio Representative Barbara Sears of the Toledo area and written by lawyers employed by Best Friends Animal Society of Kanab Utah.  One may ask why breed activists from Utah were allowed to re-write Ohio law and that would be a good question.  I can't answer it.  

Javon Stokes, age 26, suffered a grand mal seizure at the home where a friend,  Amanda Knezvich resided.  Jackson, a pit bull owned by Knezvich and Austin Dotson of the same address, attacked Stokes, biting his neck.  Mr. Stokes was transported to Mercy Health St. Vincent Medical Center where he was declared dead. 

Jackson has a history.  On August 2, 2021, the dog left the front porch of the residence and bit a neighbor passing by.  It was reported that Jackson had only been in the home for two weeks prior to the incident having been obtained from a family member.  Jackson's new owners were cited for dog running at large, told to get the dog a rabies shot and a license.  The shelter planned a recheck on Jackson on August 23 but Jackson killed Mr. Stokes on August 12th. 

Kelly Sears, director of the County Shelter made excuses for Jackson's behavior, just as she did for Romeo, another local pit bull that killed Emily Kahl just a month ago.  

It is not known whether Kelly Sears is related to HB 14's sponsor Representative Barbara Sears.  It is also not known what former Representative Barbara Sears may think about the impact of HB 14 upon the safety of residents of Ohio.  She and the authors of HB 14 assured us that the breed-neutral mess of a law that was passed by unthinking Ohio legislators would make Ohio "communities safer." 

Epic fail. 

Update -  The Lucas County Coroner's report states that the cause of Mr. Stokes's death is a dog bite and ruled an accident.  No one witnessed a seizure.  The dog was seen nudging and  licking the victim so of course, Ms. Knezvich thought her pit bull was attempting to assist the victim and "wake him up."  After all, she did not see any blood on the dog.  Did she look at the victim?  

The living arrangements in the household are unclear.  It was stated that Jackson "loved" Mr. Stokes and slept with him.  How many adults lived in this household?  Mr. Stokes's mother wants charges filed against Knezvich and Dotson.  She strongly favors accountability.  So do we. 

There is a gofundme set up to help with funeral expenses.    

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Fatal dog attack in Ohio

July 18, 2021

Lucas County Ohio  

Emily Kahl, age 31, was bitten on the neck Sunday night by a dog identified by Toledo police as a pit bull.  Ms. Kahl was declared dead at the scene. Lucas County Canine Care and Control Director Kelly Sears stated the dog's name was Romeo, her department euthanized it.  No further details are available at this time.  


The report comes from WTOL TV News, not from the Toledo Blade. The Toledo Blade was VERY active in passing HB 14 deregulating pit bulls in 2012.  HB 14, the bill that removed the inherently dangerous designation for pit bulls in Ohio was sponsored by Representative Barbara Spears who represented the Lucas County area.  Ms. Kahl is the twenty-first Ohioan killed by dogs since HB 14 was passed in 2012.  In the final 10 years of previous regulation, Ohio had five fatal attacks to put this number into context.  Ms. Sears and the authors of HB 14, Best Friends Animal Society of Kanab Utah proudly promised that their changes to Ohio law would make our communities safer.  

Not so much.   

Update - The Toledo Blade has, surprisingly, covered this story.  The Blade tells us that Romeo was owned by Thomas Holloway, residing at the same address as the victim.  While Mr. Holloway was not at home at the time of the attack he believes that someone else may have been in the home at the time and Romeo and Ms. Kahl's own dog may have been trying to "save her." I place little faith in this theory.  

Per the Blade " Records from the county shelter show Romeo had been taken to the shelter in October, 2019, as a stray, then reclaimed by Mr. Holloway. There are no other reports with the agency regarding the canine before Sunday’s incident." 

  "Reclaimed by Mr. Holloway" is an odd remark. Did Holloway own the dog prior to the Shelter intake in 2019?  Did he adopt the dog in 2019?  Who can say?  

This photo appeared in the obituary for Emily Kahl.  A sad loss for her family and the community. 

Friday, January 1, 2021

Sadly, a Dayton Ohio infant has died after being attacked by the family dog.


Dayton Ohio

Montgomery County

 2020 ended with another dog attack death in Ohio.  A 4-month-old infant identified as Raelynn Larrison was attacked by the family dog inside the family home. The baby was transported to Dayton Children's Hospital but did not survive.  

Neighbors report the dog has been at large in the neighborhood in the past.  More details when they become available.


Update             Animals 24/7 has done a thorough job of investigating the sad death of Raelynn Larrison.  Please click here to read the sad and sorry details.  The child was doomed.   

Saturday, August 8, 2020

Steffen Baldwin update 8/8/2020 An astonishing investigation, Ohio law enforcement is not playing with this man.

Per the Columbus Dispatch,  Ohio law enforcement agencies invested over 13,000 (this is a correction, first reports were incorrect) hours in the Baldwin investigation.  Ohio taxpayers are paying for this. California law enforcement has an investment here as well, heaven knows how much. 

"Campbell police detective Jim Conroy said he and agents from the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation, Ohio Department of Public Safety and Union County sheriff’s office spent more than 30,000 hours on the case."

Baldwin is being held at the Tri-County Regional Jail in Mechanicsville on a $200,000 bond.

Per the Columbus Dispatch "“People are rightfully upset,” said David Phillips, Union County prosecutor." 

Yes, people are upset and for a variety of reasons.  The cruelty, the theft by deception, the blatant fraud, AND the cost of the investigation.   This was no shoestring operation.

Tri-County Regional Jail, Baldwin's current residence.

Baldwin's mugshot from the Tri-County Regional Jail.  Here is a link to Baldwin's booking information, his jail resume.

Ohio law enforcement is not playing with this man.  This is a fine thing. 

The Baldwin case has made the national news.  The Hill covered it today.  

Friday, August 7, 2020

Seven-month-old Akron child killed by family pit bull. Update 12/14/2020, no charges and the pit bull is still alive.

Akron Ohio
Summit County.

A seven-month-old boy being watched by his grandmother was attacked by the family pit bull Friday afternoon.  The boy was transported to Akron Children's Hospital but has died.

The child's grandmother was also bitten by the dog but she refused treatment.

Summit County Animal Control is holding the pit bull. No charges will be filed.  

There are no further details at this time.  An autopsy was performed but results are not available at this time. 

This is the nineteenth fatal dog attack in Ohio since the Ohio Legislature passed HB 14, the bill that was written by Utah based Best Friends Animal Society deregulating pit bulls and rewriting Ohio dangerous dog laws.  Ohio residents were assured that HB 14 would make Ohio communities safer.  In the eight years since HB 14 was passed Ohio has seen 12 fatal pit bull attacks and 7 fatal dog attacks by all other breeds combined.  In the full decade prior to the passage of HB 14, there were 5 fatal dog attacks in Ohio.  Sound safer to anyone?

Akron does regulate pit bulls, here is the text of Akron law dealing with pit bulls. 

Any person owning, keeping, possessing, harboring, maintaining, or having the care, custody, or control of a Pit Bull, Canary Dog or American Bulldog or vicious dog shall:
Identify the dog by having the dog wear, at all times, a fluorescent green collar available upon payment of a fee, from Customer Service;
Post on the premises, in a conspicuous place where the dog is kept, at least one city-issued warning sign available, upon payment of a fee, from Customer Service. The sign shall be visible and capable of being read from the public highway or street;
Identify the dog by having the dog tattooed with a code number provided by the Customer Service Division;
Notify the Customer Service Division within twenty-four hours if the Pit Bull, Canary Dog or American Bulldog or vicious dog has died or has been sold or donated, and provide the Customer Service Division with the name, address, and telephone number of the new owner;
Keep the dog secured at all times by one of the following means:
Keep the dog inside the owner's home;
Keep the dog in a locked enclosure which has a top, and has a concrete base with the fencing securely attached or anchored to the concrete perimeter to a depth of six inches;
Keep the dog muzzled and on a chain-link leash that is not more than six feet in length which is held in the hand of a person who is of suitable age and discretion and is outside with the dog.
Pay a fee and annually, between January 2 and January 20, and whenever a dog is newly obtained, register the dog with the Customer Service Division; at the time of registration provide proof of liability insurance with an insurer authorized to write liability insurance in this state providing coverage in each occurrence, subject to a limit, exclusive of interest and costs, of not less than fifty thousand dollars because of damage or bodily injury to or death of a person caused by the dog and shall provide a certificate of insurance to Customer Service at the time the collar required by § 92.25(E)(1) is obtained;
Ensure that the dog does not go unconfined on the premises of another or be at large within the city;
Annually license the dog, if the dog is more than three months of age, with the County Auditor. Failure of any dog at any time to wear a valid license tag shall be prima facie evidence of lack of licensing;
Vaccinate the dog against rabies by a licensed veterinarian at least once every three years; a tag indicating that said dog has been vaccinated against rabies must be worn by the dog at all times. Failure of any dog at any time to wear the rabies vaccination tag issued by the licensed veterinarian who administered the vaccine shall be prima facie evidence of the dog's lack of vaccination against rabies;
Provide two color photos of the dog to Customer Service at the time the collar required by § 92.25(E)(1) is obtained. Provide one color photo of dog showing the tattoo number after the dog has been tattooed.

12/14/2020 Update - Police state that there will be no charges.  The Pit bull is apparently still alive and being held by Summit County Animal Control.