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."
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.