Thursday, November 19, 2009
From left: State Rep. Rickey Hardy, Judge Jerome Barbera III and double-mauler "Shank."
The Lafourche "Compromise"Larose, LA - On October 19, a pit bull owned by Jerome and Lillian Jarreau escaped its home and attacked a woman. Police said the attack was "brief but furious," after the dog ripped into 48-year old Tecla Smith's left arm. Smith's son Juan, who witnessed the attack, said he was surprised that the pit bull did not let go after being beat on the head with a two-by-four. Smith's injuries required immediate multiple reconstructive surgeries and more are expected in the future.
After the attack, the pit bull, named Shank, was taken to the Lafourche Animal Shelter. The Lafourche Sheriff's Office initially requested that the dog be declared "dangerous" and euthanized. In a letter to State District Judge Jerome Barbera III, sherrif's staff attorney Mike Jimenez said the dog would "pose an immediate threat" to the public if ever released. Yet just before the dangerous dog hearing, a humane group intervened and a compromise was struck sparing Shank's life.
This "compromise" proves to be disastrous.
It is important to point out that prior to the compromise, not only had the Sheriff's Office initially and strongly urged Judge Barbera to put the dog down, but State Rep. Rickey Hardy weighed in on the matter as well. Hardy authored the new Louisiana state dangerous animal law (HB 155). In response to the issue of "Shank," Harding said, "Not only should the pit bull be killed, but the owners should face charges of negligent injury and go to jail." He added, "One incident is too much."
Following the arrangement, Jimenez told reporters: "I think with this compromise, everybody will be safe and it will give the Jarreaus a chance to become responsible dog owners." We have two thoughts for Mr. Jimenez: 1.) The community was not safe due to this arrangement, and 2.) Why do Shank's owners deserve a second chance at becoming responsible? Their dog already seriously injured a woman requiring her to undergo "multiple reconstructive surgeries."
On November 6, it was reported that the Pontchartrain Humane Society would not be allowed to take custody of Shank, as the group did not meet state requirements to house a dog deemed "dangerous," namely carrying $100,000 in liability coverage. Trusting that the rescue group could meet state standards in a few weeks, Shank continued to be housed at the Lafourche Animal Shelter, where the dog launches a violent attack upon an animal control officer 6 days later.
The Second Attack
Officer Joe Lamartina survived the assault1, that he described as the dog "chewing my stomach." The pit bull's broken tooth was still in Lamartina's arm when he was transported to Thibodaux Regional Medical Center. The attack occurred when one of Shank's owners, Lillian Jarreau, visited the shelter for a 20-minute "play period" with Shank outside of its kennel. Unsurprisingly, Jarreau lost control of her 95-pound pit bull and Lamartina quickly intervened to try to help.
Shortly after the second attack, Shank was euthanized.
The Moral of This Story
By Sheriff's officials and Judge Barbera agreeing to a "compromise" with the Pontchartrain Humane Society, they set up the attack on Lamartina. Both entities placed their trust in a small rescue group -- who approached Sheriff's officials in the "courthouse hallway" moments before the scheduled dangerous dog hearing -- instead of honoring the advice of State Rep. Rickey Hardy. Furthermore, each aspect of the compromise was predicated on the following unreasonable assumption:
Within six months time, the owners of Shank could comply with state "dangerous" dog ownership laws, which include: Carrying a half million dollar liability policy ($400,000 greater than a rescue group is required to carry); installing a secure fence; and posting Dangerous Dog signs. Given that a $100,000 policy in Ohio2 can reach $800 annually for a pit bull with a non-biting history, it's extremely unlikely the Jarreaus could afford a $500,000 policy for a pit bull with a bite history.
Jerome Jarreau could be charged with "negligent injury" based on State Rep. Rickey Hardy's new legislation. Unlike many dangerous dog laws involving criminal repercussions, Hardy's legislation is not specific to on- or off-property attacks. The state law is specific to whether or not the dog owner is "reckless" in confining or restraining the animal. So though Tecla Smith was on the dog owner's property at the time of the attack, Jerome Jarreau could still be charged.
(HB 155 § 32) "The inflicting of any injury upon the person of another by a dog or other animal when the owner of the dog or other animal is reckless and criminally negligent in confining or restraining the dog or other animal."It's unknown if Lillian Jarreau faces charges regarding the attack on Officer Joe Lamartina. As discussed in our recent phone call with Mr. Hardy, in instances when city and county employees -- Officer Joe Lamartina of the Lafourche Animal Shelter -- are injured, taxpayers are required to pay these costs. Not only did the Lafourche Sheriff's Office and Judge Barbera make the grave error of agreeing to a "compromise" with Shank, they left taxpayers to foot the bill.
Citizens of Lafourche Parish may wish to contact the following persons:
|Judge Jerome J. Barbera III|
17th Judicial Court (Lafourche)
303 W. 3rd St., 2nd Floor
Thibodaux, LA 70301
(985) 446-0517 - main
(985) 446-6423 - fax
|Sheriff Craig Webre (Email)|
Lafourche Parish Sheriff's Office
200 Canal Blvd.
Thibodaux, LA 70301
(985) 449-4420 - main
(985) 447-1854 - fax
2The State of Ohio is the only U.S. state with breed-specific pit bull laws.
09/22/09: I.I.I. Study Shows Dog Bite Claims Cost Nearly $390 Million Annually
06/24/09: Louisiana State Dog Attack Law (HB 155) Wins Final Legislative Approval
04/14/09: 2009 Fatality: Michael Blaise Landry, 4, Killed in Own Yard
09/10/08: 2008 Fatality: Luna McDaniel, 83-Years Old, Dies from Pit Bull Injury
| 11/19/2009 5:14 PM |
This requires quite blunt commentary.
"Judge" Barbera needs to be stripped of his position, face criminal prosecution, and go to jail.
He colluded with criminals who owned a dangerous dog, and a fake "rescue" group, to cause a public safety danger and physical harm.
Barbera is supposed to be an authority figure, not a colluder with criminals. Not an enabler of physical harm to innocent people. Not a threat to public safety.
But collude he did.
He himself has acted AS A CRIMINAL in this entire situation.
It is time for all of us to scrutinize the judges in our court system, and have criminal and corrupt ones REMOVED and CHARGED with their crimes.
| 11/19/2009 5:15 PM |
Don't contact Barbera!
Contact the ethics board of his state.
There should be an administrative judge supervising his performance, and an ethics committee for judges.
Does anyone have this info?
There should be formal complaints filed about his performance as a judge.
| 11/19/2009 5:28 PM |
From a news story where another Louisiana judge misbehaved and got reported and investigated, here's who does the investigations of judges in LA
"Louisiana Judiciary Committee, which oversees the state justices of the peace"
THESE JUDGES MUST BE REPORTED AND INVESTIGATIONS MUST BWE DEMANDED, or more people will get hurt or killed.
| 11/19/2009 5:41 PM |
"Judge Jerome Barbera was appointed Chair of the Task Force on Court Security by the Louisiana Supreme Court. "
Can you imagine? He gives a darn about HIS OWN security in the courtroom, but willingly helps the public and city workers get mauled and nearly killed!
Barbera is a threat to the security of the public at large!
| 11/19/2009 6:59 PM |
It appears that a tactic now being used by these corrupt "rescue" groups is to grab the dangerous dog BEFORE the dangerous dog hearing, so the dog isn't officially declared dangerous (as it is and should be) so they can escape liability insurance requirement laws in their own state or area, or deceive their insurance companies.
So the future victims of these dogs will also have to suffer with the medical and funeral bills.
| 11/19/2009 10:16 PM |
Custody of the dog should be squarely and solely in the hands of the shelter, and ownership STUCK to the owner, until after the hearing, always. No transfer of ownership. No hauling the dog elsewhere. The dog stays put and stays the property of the criminals who let it maul until after the legal fallout. And judges need to STOP listening to animal nuts over the advice of their own law enforcement and representatives.
| 11/20/2009 11:42 AM |
Here's another negligence case that occurred in Barbera's courtroom.
Driver who fell asleep, killing 3, gets 30 days
Sept. 2009 - "An LSU student who fell asleep moments before causing a head-on crash that killed three people last year in Larose received a 30-day jail sentence Tuesday. The victims’ family sharply criticized Lafourche District Attorney Cam Morvant II for choosing not to file more-serious charges against defendant Binh Pham that could have resulted in a significantly longer sentence."
| 11/20/2009 12:46 PM |
If you haven't yet read the last news article in the link, be prepared to have your head explode. In true pit-nutter fashion, Lillian Jarreau places blame for the second attack squarely on Officer Joe Lamartina, with some blame thrown in for another dog that she claims upset her precious wiggle-butt. She claims that all she needed was a leash, and sent her mother to get one from the officers, and those darn officers burst into the room to help her, which got her little baby even more upset. Apparently, mama did not simply ask them for a leash -- she told the truth -- that her daughter could not handle her own dog! So, after this mauler disfigured her neighbor for life, and after witnessing the second attack first hand, she claims she was pressured into putting down the beast, and if she had more time to think, she would not have done it.
What kind of a nut wants a dog like that? Oh, yeah. A pit-nutter!
Also, did you all notice that the Jarreaus had puppies? Apparently, the neighbor was coming over to look at them -- I guess she'll be changing her mind about getting a pit bull now. And, of course, the Jarreaus also blame the neighbor for that attack.
| 11/20/2009 1:49 PM |
The an early article stated that Shanks had bitten a person three years ago but the Jarreaus escaped charges....What we have here is a thrice biting Pit and puppies!
I wonder if Jarreau plans on trafficking them into the community?!?
Unfortunately, this is the Pit Bull community and they are incapable of acting responsibly.
BAN EARLY and BAN OFTEN!!!!!
| 11/20/2009 2:05 PM |
Are the Jarreaus running an UNLICENSED BREEDING BUSINESS and not paying taxes on the income?
Is this the interest that Barbera was protecting?
Is this a breeding dog that Barbera was helping them get back into breeding circulation?
And what are these puppies being sold for?
Louisiana is dogfighting central.
| 11/20/2009 2:46 PM |
The same thing happened up in Indy last year when Lee Carroll's breeding Pits mauled Brenda Hill so badly that she lost a leg...Carroll later sold 8 pups from the maulers into the community.
This is what happens in a absence of sane breed stewardship.
And the nutters wonder why bans are spreading!
| 11/21/2009 12:06 PM |
A priceless memo from the Lafourche Sheriff's office following the "sparing" of Shank, but prior to the second mauling.
LPSO Agrees to "Paw-Shank" Redemption - Sgt. Lesley Hill Peters
October 27, 2009 - Sheriff Craig Webre and the owners of a dog who all agree is dangerous, have reached an agreement that will save the pit bull named Shank from being put down for now. Under Louisiana law a dog can be declared dangerous if it bites someone and causes severe injuries. Jerome Jarreau, Shank’s owner, was cited October 20th after Shank latched on to the left arm of Tecla Smith and wouldn’t let go until hit on the head several times with a board. Smith, a neighbor of the Jarreau’s, received severe injuries.
Before the hearing set for 2:00 PM today in Judge Jerome Barbera’s Thibodaux courtroom, Mike Grunblatt of the Pontchartrain Humane Society (a non-kill shelter) offered to house Shank until the owners could comply with several conditions set by Louisiana law and Lafourche Parish ordinances. Under an agreement approved by all parties, Grunblatt will take Shank to the north shore shelter and house him for up to six months, giving the Jarreau’s the opportunity to:
•Get the dog properly vaccinated
•Build a properly secured enclosure for the dog that will be inspected for compliance to applicable laws and parish ordinances
•Put up the proper signage called for by applicable laws and parish ordinances
•Secure a half-million dollar liability policy
Grunblatt assured all parties that he will make sure Shank is vaccinated and cared for while the Jarreau’s work to comply with the agreement. If for some reason they do not, the Pontchartrain Humane Society will take custody of the dog and be in control of its future. St. Tammany authorities will be properly notified that a dangerous dog is within their boundaries once Shank is relocated.
| 11/21/2009 9:23 PM |
I also think breeders should be required to maintain proper vaccinations for ALL dogs of age on their property in order to be allowed to operate their business. Failure to do so should result in confiscation of all dogs and massive fines. It's time this under the table industry was regulated.
| 11/22/2009 2:16 AM |
In Louisiana breeders with over 5 dogs are to maintain a Kennel Permit...I doubt that was done here.
These breeders here are still selling Shank's human aggressive pups!
Where is the "responsible" Pit Bull with their condemnation?!?
| 11/22/2009 11:48 AM |
Has anyone asked the obvious question...why are pit bull owners abandoniong their dogs in such huge numbers? If the dogs are being abandoned in droves by people who, we can assunme, wanted a pit bull in the first place, what makes these lunatics think there are hundreds of homes out their just looking to adopt a pit bull?
I believe one of the main reasons some shelters don't adopt out pit bulls is because the only people who seem to want them are the gang members and dog fighters; also, there is a risk to adopting out pit puppies, because they are not yet altered, and can be used for breeding. In many urban areas, the "no-adopt" policy is done primarily for the protection of the dogs; better a huamne death than abuse, starvation, and abandonement that awaits them.
| 11/23/2009 1:52 PM |
When you click to the original article, you have to love the owner's cagey ("Please don't kill me.") expression as she let's that dog lick her face. Her pose looks like she's braced to dash away at the slightest shift.
| 12/21/2009 7:35 AM |
I nominate the Jarreau's as "2009 Pit Bull Breeder of the Year" finalists!
Shank's mauling spirit will live on through the human aggressive pups he sired.....RED ALERT Louisiana!