Thursday, October 29, 2009
From left: Offending pit bull and his doghouse, Chief Brian Russell and Richard Ray Smith.
UPDATE 10/29/09: New information has been reported about the death of Matthew Hurt. According to a KTHV video, family and friends1 said the boy saw a puppy and chased it to a backyard where a pit bull was chained. Matthew's 3-year old brother followed him, then rushed home to alert the family. Neighbor Bridgette Monroe, who tried to help, described the horrible scene, "The babies' jugular, throat was bitten and from his mouth up to his eye was bitten."
Authorities seized two adult pit bulls from the dog owner's home2, one of which was male. Though not stated in the article, it's likely that the puppy Matthew had been chasing came from a litter of the two pit bulls. Richard Ray Smith, whose mother owns the dogs, said, "The dog has been raised with us and all the kids have played with the dog. It's not a violent dog, we don't know what happened." He added, "We don't want the family to be mad at us, it's just an 'accident.'"
But two adult chained pit bulls, likely part of a backyard breeding operation, that wind up severely injuring or killing a child is far from an accident. The situation is a ruinous attack only waiting to happen. Chief Brian Russell said police and emergency crews arrived within minutes and the boy was airlifted to St. Michael's where he was pronounced dead. "There very well could be charges either way," he said. "We'll just have to see where the investigation goes from here."
Related ZUPF video
2The loose puppy of an unnamed breed has still not been caught.
10/28/09: 2-Year Old Killed By Chained Pit Bull
Prescott, AR - Five days following the fatal pit bull mauling of 17-month old Colton Smith at his babysitter's home, two-year old Matthew Clayton Hurt of Prescott, Arkansas is also dead by a pit bull. Matthew arrived at his babysitter's home just before 10 am this morning. At some point, the boy wandered a few blocks away and into a backyard where a pit bull was chained. The dog savagely attacked the toddler. A woman walking nearby tried to help, but it was too late.
"He wasn't moving at all he was bitten all on his throat across his face just limp," Bridgette Monroe said.Arkansas State Police are still investigating. No charges have been filed at this time.
11/20/09: After Fatal Pit Bull Mauling, the City of Prescott Bans Pit Bulls
10/27/09: 2009 Fatality: 17-Month Old Boy Killed by Pit Bull-Mix at Babysitter's Home
09/17/09: 3-Year Old Girl Airlifted After Backyard Breeder's Pit Bull Attacks
06/29/09: Shaylee Crosson, 3, Loses Scalp in Pit Bull Attack
05/14/09: 2009 Fatality: 2-Year Old Boy Killed by Pit Bull in Luling, TX
04/08/09: Pit Bull Attacks Toddler While Being Baby-Sat in Bay County
02/06/09: Babysitter's Pit Bull Attacks Infant in Newport News; Critical Condition
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| 10/28/2009 11:24 PM |
Once upon a time, my 4 year old opened the door for my 2 year old to go outside. As I came out of the shower, there was a knock at my door. I was astonished to see a couple of strangers standing at my door with my 2 year old, who had wandered two blocks away! Was I negligent? It had never happened before. It never happened again. But this kind of thing happens without any willful negligence.
Negligence is keeping a dangerous animal on a chain, where it can be accessed by a child. Even a pool must be fenced, by law, to prevent accidental access by an unsupervised child. (See "attractive nuisance")
Negligence is permitting a type of dog to be kept without prescribing special containment and management standards, despite overwhelming and continuous evidence of their special hazard; i.e. 2 toddlers killed in 2 weeks. (See "derelict lawmakers")
| 10/29/2009 1:19 AM |
What astonishes me is that a toddler made it four blocks in a supposedly heavily trafficked area. What kind of a society has this become that people don't stop and try to figure out what's going on? I know if I saw a child that age wandering by himself, I'd do something about it.
I have to agree with the above poster. It is a failing in the law that anybody is still allowed to keep a dog chained in a yard, front or back. Countless studies have shown that chaining dogs increases aggression, and that chained pit bulls are some of the most dangerous by far.
| 10/29/2009 8:34 AM |
"We don't want the family to be mad at us"
It's all about them. A child dies and all they can think about is themselves. Something is wrong with the people attracted to these dogs.
| 10/29/2009 11:20 AM |
Some kids play with lighters, that's why all lighters now have a safety. Some kids drink household cleaning agents, that's why all those bottles now have safety tops.
And some kids, they run off. Go and pet the pitbull.
Some pitbulls kill kids, when are we going to something about that?
| 10/29/2009 1:20 PM |
If there was a certain make and model of carseat that failed occasionally during car crashes and caused the death of several children, it would make national news, and would be quickly taken off the market. The manufacturer of that carseat would be subject to huge lawsuits, and victims families would no doubt win large settlements. The company that made the carseat would lose market share, and have a badly damaged reputation.
No one would suggest that since only "some" of the carseats fail, we should not burden the company with extra restrictions...no one would argue that more children die from drowning, so a few car seat deaths is not a big deal....no one would suggest that it couldn't possibly be the carseat, the parents probably were negligent and didn't strap the child in.
Why is it so different with a breed of dog? Why are the lives of children killed by pit bulls worth so much less?
| 10/29/2009 10:23 PM |
Added to the Todays THV article today:
"October 29th UPDATE: Kevin Taylor clarifies, "The toddlers mother was at our home when the incident took place. The previous night she and her children stayed with us." He continues, "My girlfriend and I love the children and take care of them sometimes, but we do it as a friend, no money is exchanged."
| 10/31/2009 2:35 AM |
A mandatory covered enclosure would have prevented the two pit-infanticides.
Regs work great for wolf-hybrids...Only two deaths in the past few years, and the victims are normally consenting ethereal adults who enter the mandatory enclosure to feed them...Normally they are consumed and their spirit lives on through the wolf. No harm ...no foul!
| 11/02/2009 12:06 PM |
I am a neighbor of the Hurt family, this little boy did not go 4 blocks away it was only two houses. never the less, the babysitter was not on duty at the time, the mother was asleep on the babysitters couch. As much as I hate to say it, it was the mothers fault. negligence? no, just an overworked mother of three that dozed off and an adventurous little boy. It is very say, and could have been prevented. I do think charges should be brought against the mother, but I also believe that the pit bull breed should be exterminated. by the way, if you were at this funeral you would have seen the grief held by the parents.It was horrible.
| 11/02/2009 12:51 PM |
Many early media reports included the "4 blocks" aspect of the story, as well as that the child had "walked down a busy street." This upset many readers at that time. It is later clarified in subsequent reports that the house with the chained pit bulls was just two doors down.
| 11/13/2009 3:28 PM |
Matthew Clayton "Booter" Hurt
"Baby Matthew Clayton “Booter” Hurt, 2, of Prescott, died Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2009, at Christus St. Michael Health System in Texarkana, Texas. He was born Sept. 18, 2007, in Hope, to Kevin Edward and Leslie LeAnn Strickland Hurt. He was an infant. His survivors include his father, Kevin E. Hurt of Emmet; his mother, Leslie LeAnn Strickland of Prescott; one brother, Kevin Hurt Jr. of Prescott; one sister, Laila E. Strickland of Prescott; paternal grandparents, Ricky Hurt of Emmet and Linda Lamb and Tim of Delight; maternal grandparents, Benny Strickland and Mary of Prescott and Darenda Stringfellow and Ronny of Camden; paternal great-grandparents, David Hurt and Ruth of Murfreesboro and Lester Weaver and Marie of Blevins; maternal great-grandmother, Jeannie Jernigan of Emmet; several aunts, uncles, cousins, other relatives and friends."
The online guestbook is at www.brazzelfuneralhomes.com
| 11/25/2009 4:42 AM |
I hope the ban sticks, otherwise the little boys death would have been in vain. The parents should never had to go through the grief of losing a child, the ban should have been in place long ago...these creatures are worse than the afore mentioned wolfs or wolf hybrids(at least THEIR handlers KNOW they are unpredictable wild animals and take proper precautions!).
| 9/16/2012 9:52 AM |
I can hear the nutters screaming about not supervising the child. No amount of supervision can prevent a pit bull from "snapping" and killing. Children wander off all the time but I have never heard of a beagle killing a wandering kid.