Friday, May 5, 2017

Death in Dayton. Montgomery County is the poster child for the failure of the education model for animal control.

This post will be partly news, partly history, and have a heavy emphasis on "education."  Please hang in there with me.

Yet again, Dayton Ohio was the scene of a dog mauling death.  The April 25th pit bull mauling death of Maurice Brown is the third dog mauling death in that city in just over three years and the fourth in Montgomery County since Mark Kumpf took over the job of Montgomery County County Dog Warden in 2006.

Mr. Brown was attacked by a pit bull that had broken free of a chain in the backyard of a Dayton home.  Neighbors called the police to report hearing a man screaming "Jesus, help me, help me." When police arrived the pit bull was still attacking Brown and was shot by police.  Police found three more pit bulls at the home. It has been reported that the owner of the home is currently in a nursing home but the pit bulls have been at the home for years and are being well cared for.  The investigation of the fatal mauling is moving at the glacial speed customary in Dayton.  There has been no identification of the current owner or caretaker of these pit bulls.

This case is getting national attention and the previous two deaths are being noted.  Looks bad for Dayton.   There is more that looks bad for Dayton. This is not the first attack at this address.  In 2011 a nine-year-old girl was attacked by a dog there. Per the Dayton daily News "In 2011, 9-year-old Dynver Lovett was playing in the yard there when a loose dog from down the block ran up and began to fight with the multiple dogs at that address. The girl was bitten by that loose dog on her arm and leg. She needed 50 stitches and has permanent scarring from the experience. 
Multiple times in 2008 and 2012 dog owners at the same address were cited for failure to license two male pit bulls harbored there. One citation was dismissed and one was withdrawn.  Why?  In 2015 there was a request made to Montgomery County ARC for a welfare check for dog at the same address.  The dogs were reportedly healthy and the owner was again advised to license them.  There was no reported follow-up, as is normal for Montgomery County ARC.  There is no information on how these complaints were handled and no information on who owned the dogs at the time.  Did Montgomery County ARC contact an actual person at the address or just put sternly worded post-it notes on the door? More about the post-it notes later.   

The family of Maurice Brown is hoping for justice.   This statement comes from Mr. Brown's brother David. This could have been a child walking to school, mauled to death. It could have been anyone, it just happens to be my brother. These dogs are bred, bred for that trait of being vicious and you should be held accountable if you cannot control them.” "People seem to want to try to make a lion into a kitty cat, and they are not that."   Per the Dayton Daily news article dated 5/2/2017 "Any animal that takes a human life and has a known capability to do that is something we can't come to grips with" said David Brown.  He said the family is looking for answers and would like to see tougher rules and regulations on pull bull ownership.  Pit bulls should be 'treated like an exotic animal' because of the threats they pose and Maurice's death will hopefully start a dialog that will prevent this from happening to someone else."  "David said that his family is Christian and willing to forgive the responsible parties but that person or family must be held accountable for their actions."  Amen to that. 

Maurice Brown, musician and Air Force veteran. 

Police investigating the death of Maurice Brown.

News from Dayton does not get better.  There were FIVE reported dog attacks in the same week as the fatal attack on Maurice Brown.  On April 23rd a child was bitten by a pit bull mix dog inside a family home.  The child's mother asked to have the dog removed from her home because this was not the first bite from this dog.  Were previous bites reported?  Did Mark Kumpf's agency refuse to act on previous bites?  Follow up?

On April 25th Maurice Brown was killed by a pit bull in Dayton.  We are over a week out from the date of the fatal mauling, Dayton police and Montgomery County Animal Resource Center staff still have no identification for the owner of the dog.

Less than 24 hours after Maurice Brown's death a pit bull named Terra jumped out of a fenced yard and attacked a passerby. Per the Dayton Daily news. "  The victim told officers he was walking in the alley next to 1418 Lamar St. When he reached the front yard of the house a brown pit bull with a white chest started barking at him. A few seconds later the pit bull jumped over the fence and attacked him before jumping back into the yard.  The victim had bite injuries on his left upper thigh and lower right leg.  Medics transported the victim to Grandview Medical Center were he received stitches in his lower right leg.
The unnamed victim told police the dog grabbed him, shook its head a few times, causing him to fall on his knees. The dog also scratched his back. Officers later responded to the 1400 block of  Lamar Street to contact the dog’s owner. A man at the home told officers the dog that attacked the victim is Terra— a 2-year-old who recently had puppies. The man at the home told officers he didn’t own Terra, but he allowed her in the front yard while he did yard work. He typically allows the dogs in the back yard where there is a privacy fence."  This non-owner seems to have a lot of information on a dog he claims to not own.  

On apparently the same day, two Dayton pit bulls identified as Coco and Bella were running at large, Coco attacked a man working in his yard. The victim recognized the dogs and directed police to the residence of the owner, Alexander Elizarars.  This victim stated that he would go to a local hospital for treatment. When questioned, Elizarars admitted that his dogs had recently escaped from the yard but that the fence had been repaired.  Elizarars was informed that he must keep Coco quarantined. The story is not over.  A woman called police and reported that Coco and Bella were again running at large. Bella bit the woman.  Police returned to Elizarars' home to inform him that Bella must be quarantined as well.  The female victim was transported to a local hospital for treatment.

This is less than a week in Dayton. Dayton appears to be one of the most dangerous cities in America for dog attacks.

But wait, we are not done in Dayton.  A Dayton man was arrested after leaving a three year old child in a car with pit bulls in it so he could buy heroin.  Twenty four year old Taylor Beatty-Frazier's pit bull became aggressive toward police during a traffic stop. A search of the car turned up the drugs, three caps of heroin, a three year old child, and aggressive pit bulls in the same car.  What could go wrong?


Pit bull owner Taylor Beatty-Frazier.

Pit bulls are an issue in Dayton. Type Dayton into the search box at the top left of the blog page. You will be here all day reading about Dayton's pit bulls.   Montgomery County ARC seems to be unable to make any impact and you will see why shortly.  Hint - law is not being enforced.

Here is a bit of history that may lead to a greater understanding of problems in Dayton and Montgomery County.

On February 7, 2014, Dayton resident Klonda Richey was killed by dogs she called pit bull mastiff mixes in her DOZENS of complaints to dog warden Mark Kumpf's Montgomery County Animal Resource Center and to Dayton police. Richey stated that she was afraid for her life but the dogs were never removed from the home of Richey's neighbors. Richey's complaints to the Montgomery County ARC led to nothing more than sternly worded post-it notes left at the home of Andrew Nason and Julie Custer, next door neighbors and dog owners.  Kumpf claimed that Richey's death was unpreventable and this statement comes to us from WDTN News "Numerous warnings were left for the dog owners at 35 East Bruce Avenue, but no action was taken. Kumpf says a warning is simply a notice that an officer responded to a complaint. There’s really no follow-up after that unless the owner calls the Animal Resource Center to find out more."
A response from dog owners is voluntary?

            Andrew Nason, 28, and Julie Custer, 25, both of Dayton.
Andrew Nason                 Julie Custer
Court of Appeals ruling in 2016 will allow the family of Klonda Richey to personally sue Mark Kumpf for his failure to protect her safety.  PLEASE read the Court of Appeals ruling.  The section about Kumpf's personal decision to shift from an enforcement model to an education model is very disturbing and becomes more disturbing when we get to the death of Jonathan Quarles Jr.    Here is the section, nobody should miss this.

 {¶ 5} In July 2006, Defendant-Appellee, Mark Kumpf, was hired as the Director of the Montgomery County Animal Resource Center (“ARC”) and as the Montgomery County, Ohio, Dog Warden. Kumpf was still serving in those capacities at the time of Richey’s death. Kumpf had been involved in animal control since the early 1990’s, and had changed his philosophy from an “enforcement mode” to an “education mode.” In the enforcement mode, Kumpf’s approach had been to see how many animals he could pick up, how fast the animals could be gotten off the road, and how many summonses he could write. In this mode, he averaged 100 to 150 citations per month. In contrast, Kumpf’s education approach involved issuing fewer summonses and focusing citations on the more serious cases. {¶ 6} After Kumpf came to Montgomery County in 2006, he changed the focus of the ARC from enforcement to education. The number of citations issued to citizens dropped by more than 33 percent in the first two years of his tenure. At first, Kumpf’s bosses were concerned about a drop in revenue. However, Kumpf pointed out that he had taken in 2,000 fewer animals, and that licensing and adoption revenues had increased. {¶ 7} Kumpf also instructed his deputy wardens to write fewer citations because he believed the courts were not doing their job, and were notoriously unhelpful with citation fines and enforcement. In the two years before Richey’s death, out of more than 20,000 calls about animals, only about 697 (about 3.4 percent) resulted in citations. Of 60,000 dogs in Montgomery County, only 12 were designated as “nuisance” or -4- “dangerous” dogs in 2013. {¶ 8} Kumpf was under the impression that before an animal control officer can issue a citation for a “dog at large,” the officer must witness the dog off an owner’s property and not under the owner’s immediate control. However, at Kumpf’s direction, officers were not patrolling. In addition, also at Kumpf’s direction, dispatchers routinely refused to answer phone calls requesting service during business hours. Instead, dispatchers pushed a “divert” button on the phone and calls were sent to voicemail. All of the calls Klonda Richey made to ARC went to voicemail."

Let that sink in. Per the Court of Appeals of Ohio Second Appellate District, Montgomery County, at Mark Kumpf's direction, Montgomery County animal control shifted from enforcement mode to education mode. Keep the stats provided by the Court of Appeals in mind. ARC staff members were directed to write fewer citations, they did not patrol the community AND at Kumpf's direction his dispatchers routinely refused to answer phone calls requesting service during business hours.  After the death of Klonda Richey there was no apparent change in Kumpf's policies.

Here is where the failure of Kumpf's policies and his inability to change his management style become obvious. Seven-month-old Jonathan Quarles Jr. was killed inside his step grandmother's Dayton home on July 20, 2014, by her pit bull, a pit bull with a history of violence, well known to Montgomery County Animal Resource Center staff, but that known violent dog had not been removed from Kimiko Hardy's home after two previous violent incidents.
7-month-old attacked, killed by dog in Dayton
Jonathan Quarles Jr.

Hardy had been ordered to attend responsible dog owner classes at the Montgomery County ARC after her dog's first violation, menacing and attacking a mail carrier,  but that education apparently included nothing of value and there was no follow-up.  Another failure for Mark Kumpf's education model.  Hardy's pit bull went on to attack a leashed Beagle being walked by her owner.  This second violation led to charges but for reasons unexplained, a pre-trial hearing for Hardy was postponed one week prior to the fatal attack on Jonathan Quarles Jr.   It would appear to the casual observer that the Quarles family has the right to sue Mark Kumpf as well.
Image result for kimiko hardy
 Kimiko Hardy in the courtroom to hear her sentence.  Jonathan's step-grandmother, Kimiko Hardy is serving a 3-year prison sentence for the death of the child. 

Here is a bit more history.  Ohio law pertaining to dogs was changed in 2012 by the passage of HB 14, sponsored by Representative Barbara Sears. Sears is not a dog owner and never has been but her dedication to the deregulation of pit bulls in Ohio was relentless.  Documents received via FOI request make it clear that Representative Sears allowed an out of state shelter/PAC, Best Friends Animal Society of Kanab Utah, to write law for the state of Ohio.  This organization also wrote an amendment to HB 79, a previous attempt to deregulate pit bulls in Ohio which was unsuccessful.

It must be remembered that Representative Sears stated of her bill that it "finally gives dog wardens the tools to deal with dangerous dogs."  Not so much.  Mark Kumpf, then treasurer of the Ohio County Dog Wardens Association, along with Matt Granito, then president of the organization campaigned for passage of the bill using their titles as officers of the OCDWA without consulting rank and file members.

The Best Friends lawyers set out to protect the rights of pit bull owners and their dogs without any consideration of public safety. The mauling deaths started immediately after passage of HB 14 and in the five years since the passage of HB 14,  there have been twelve fatal dog attacks in Ohio.

The first fatality was Makayla Darnell, 3 weeks old, killed by her grandmother’s pit bull.

The second was Ronnell Brown, a 40 year old man, killed by his designer dog pit bull mix.  Brown was a dialysis patient and it was reported that the dog tore his dialysis graft during the attack and he quickly bled to death.  First  responders had to wait for police to shoot the dog before they could get to Brown and by then it was too late.  BTW, Brown had two puppies of the same breed mix in his apartment at the time of the mauling and area residents lined up to adopt these puppies.

The third was Dawn Jergens, 76 years old killed by her own two dogs, Cane Corsos.  What was a 76 year old woman doing with two Cane Corsos?  This death occurred in Montgomery County.  

Number 4 was Elizabeth Hurt, 94 years, attacked by the family Boston Terriers.  She died a couple of weeks later.

The fifth was Rachael Honabarger, 35 years old, killed by her family German Shepherd.

Mia Gibson was number six, three months old, killed by family dogs, two Shiba Inus.

The seventh was 57 year old Klonda Richey of Dayton in Montgomery County Ohio, killed by dogs that she called pit mastiff mixes.  Misdemeanor charges, Andrew Nason got 180 days in prison and community service.  Julie Custer got 90 days in jail and community service.  Nason was recently convicted on child abuse charges and will spend 5 years in prison. 

Eight,  Jonathan Quarles Jr age 7 months.  This was a Montgomery County, city of Dayton mauling death. 
Nine. Cindy Whisman, age 59, killed by her daughter’s pit bull while babysitting her toddler grandson in Madison Twp. Ohio.  Death ruled accidental, no charges.  

Ten.  Aiden Jonathon Grimm, three days old was killed by a Shepherd mix dog inside his grandmother’s home.  The coroner’s report stated there were no bite injuries on the body.  It appeared that the dog picked the infant up by the head to remove the child from a laundry basket serving as a temporary crib.  All the dogs in this household slept in laundry baskets. 

Eleven. Annie Williams, age 71, a great grandmother, was killed by a family member’s pit bull in Shaker Heights Ohio.  The dog was owned by Bobbie Green and her adult son Leon Morton.  Leon Morton pleaded guilty to felony charges to spare his mother a possible jail term.  Morton was sentenced to 30 months in prison with credit for 106 days already served.

Twelve. Maurice Brown, age 60 years, was killed by a pit bull kept chained in a Dayton Ohio Back yard on April 25, 2017.  This is a Montgomery County mauling death.

For comparison, here is a list of fatal dog attacks in Ohio for the DECADE prior to the passage of HB 14. Note the total, FIVE deaths in 10 years.

2003                        Fatal attack by Rottweilers, 54 year old female victim in Columbus Ohio.  The dog owner was sentenced to 6  months in jail.

2005                         Fatal attack by pit bull, victim was Ernie Asad of  Parma Ohio.  The owner of the dogs was a professional football player. The dogs were being taken care of by a friend.       

2006                        Fatal attack by Rottweilers, 40 year old make victim, James Eisaman, had a broken leg. He was attacked and killed in his basement by his girlfriend’s dogs.  Akron Ohio

2008                         Fatal attack by a Husky upon a 3 day old infant in Wakeman Ohio      

2010                        Fatal attack by a large pack of dogs of many breeds, upon Michael Winters, all the dogs belonged to him in Warren Ohio

Ohio State Senator Bill Beagle introduced SB 151 during the legislative session that ended in 2016. The bill was designed to hold the owners of dangerous dogs accountable for the actions of their dogs. SB 151 passed the Ohio Senate unanimously just prior to the end of the session.  When was the last time anything passed the Ohio Senate unanimously?  It is obvious that current Ohio law, written by lawyers employed by Best Friends Animal Society headquartered in Kanab Utah is a total failure.  Senator Beagle promises to re-introduce the bill into the Ohio House this year.     He recently told a reporter The body count is getting too high,”  “We need to act.

It may be of interest to some that just two days after the mauling death of Maurice Brown in Dayton Ohio there was a pit bull mauling death across the Ohio-Pennsylvania state line.  Lisa Green, age 32, was mauled to death by her pit bull-Boxer mix on the deck of her home while her neighbors fought for her life using a ham bone, a stick, a board, and a gun.  This fatal attack was also picked up by national news services and has distracted attention from Maurice Brown's death.  When will Dayton residents see results from the investigation by Dayton Police and Montgomery County Animal Resource Center?

When will the Montgomery County Commissioners grow weary of Mark Kumpf's "education" model and insist on enforcement?  With FOUR fatal attacks, three of these attacks by pit bulls well known to Montgomery Animal Control, in just one county, what are they waiting for? Senator Beagle is correct, the body count IS getting too high.  You can't "educate" the clueless, the careless, or the thoughtless, the unwilling or the uninsured,  in techniques to prevent the very behaviors their dogs were bred to exhibit.  Education has been promoted as the cure for the pit bull problem for 30 years and has never worked anywhere. Montgomery County is the poster child for that failure.  "Education" is a FAILED POLICY, enforce the law!

Brief digression, there is no problem with Beagles that requires mass education for the public.  Has the phrase "it's all in how you raise 'em" EVER been uttered in a conversation about Irish Setters? Has anyone ever stated that Poodles or Collies can't be visually identified?  We hear these standard pit bull talking points after every serious pit bull mauling, uttered by some sanctimonious and condescending breed advocate.  Elected officials do not call them out on it.  Proactive laws are under vicious attack by breed specific advocates all over the United States.  

Mr. Kumpf must have amazing social skills, he is the president of the Ohio County Dog Wardens Association and has been for years.  Why do Ohio county dog wardens keep voting for him?  He makes a laughingstock of the organization.  Why don't OCDWA members ask for his resignation? A a president-elect is listed on the website.  Why not let someone not tainted by the failure of Kumpf's educational model, and the deaths in his county resulting from that failure take over the organization? I can't answer any of these questions.

What is fairly obvious is that when a dog warden aligns himself with breed specific advocates the public will suffer.

Mark Kumpf, Montgomery County's dog warden posing with Jane Berkey, heiress and owner of the extreme pit bull advocacy organization The Animal Farm Foundation (motto Securing equal treatment and opportunity for "pit bull" dogs) and the National Canine Research Council (producer of Tobacco Institute style "research" promoting the safety of pit bull dogs.  It must be noted that The AFF and Best Friends Animal Society partner in promoting pit bulls and protecting the rights of pit bull owners across America.  Ledy Vankavage, head lawyer at Best Friends is also a board member of the Animal Farm Foundation.  Mr. Kumpf is a frequent speaker at events sponsored by the AFF and by Best Friends.