Friday, February 18, 2011
Josie Arellano, the mother of the three child victims.
UPDATE 02/18/11: On Thursday, a San Bernardino County jury convicted a Fontana couple whose mastiff and pit bulls seriously mauled three children a year ago. Judith Mendez Lopez, 56, and Jose Lopez Gonzales, 49, were convicted on seven felony counts of allowing vicious animals to be at large. Both face a maximum of 7-years in prison. Deputy District Attorney Kent Williams said, "We think this is a just verdict." (Kudos to Williams and jury members!)
03/23/10: Felony Charges Filed Against Dog Owners
Felony charges1 are being filed against a couple from Fontana after their five dogs attacked a whole family, critically injuring a 5-year old girl on February 1. Lopez Gonzalez, 49, was arrested on Monday. He pleaded not guilty to seven felony counts of allowing vicious animals at large. He remains in jail, with bail set at $250,000. His wife Judith Mendez Lopez, 55, is expected to turn herself in soon. She is also expected to be charged with seven felony counts.
If convicted of all charges, the couple could get seven years behind bars.2
02/04/10: Condition of 5-Year Old Girl Upgraded
Destiny's condition has been upgraded from critical to serious condition, but is still in a medically induced coma at Loma Linda University Children's Hospital. Family members are hopeful she'll make a complete recovery after a mauling that hospitalized three children. Dr. Jim Eguchi said, "It's too early to tell, when you're in the ICU you try not to predict things, you take it one at a time as they come along, and hopefully she makes it through."
02/03/10: Dogs' Owner "Sorry" About Triple Mauling
Fontana, CA - In yet another horrific display of criminal and unforgivable dangerous dog ownership -- where the dogs' owner might just be "ticketed" -- five dogs reportedly escaped through holes in the fence and attacked a mother and her children. In what should have been an afternoon "walk to the park," became a Freddy Krueger nightmare instead. One dog ripped a 5-year old child from her mother's arms and the other dogs attacked her two other children.
The dogs are being described as a mastiff and four pit bull-mixes.5-year old Destiny Colon, who remains on life support at Loma Linda University Medical Center, was initially treated for broken ribs and a punctured lung. Police said the hospital called after the attack to ask if they had recovered any muscle tissue from the crime scene in hopes it could be reattached. Destiny's 6-year old brother, Hector Perez, received 235 staples to close a leg wound, and her 7-year old sister, Princess Colon, was treated for bite injuries.3
One longtime resident said she knows the aggressiveness of these dogs well. "They would come after horses, after people. Everybody was in danger. I'm not surprised," she said. "When people have dogs that are dangerous and they can get out of the yard, what can you expect? Those people need to be stopped." Correction: The City of Fontana and/or its animal control department must also be held liable if these dogs had previous complaints against them.
According to Sgt. Jeff Decker, the dogs' owners are "very sorry" about what happened. This is a miserable response to Josie Arellano, whose one child may die and two others may suffer permanent disfiguring injury. Not to mention the foreseeable bankruptcy filing of the Arellano family due to extensive medical bills. The owners of these dogs did not choose to own poodles -- a breed with a strong safety record -- they chose to own known frankenmaulers.
Donations to assist with medical and other expenses are being accepted through the Colon family's church. Please make checks out to the Apostolic Church, 5401 Citrus Ave., Fontana 92336. In the memo section, write "c/o Colon Family." For additional information, please call: 909-822-5450.
2Under the much misunderstood Texas state law (Lillian's Law), a similar sentence of 7-years -- and the only publicized conviction under Lillian's Law -- was given after the "death" of Tanner Joshua Monk.
3Information regarding the injuries is still unfolding and press reports vary.
01/12/10: 2010 Fatality: Pet Pit Bull Kills 3-Year Old Boy in Apple Valley
12/20/08: A Recent Review of California Fatal Dog Attacks (2006-2008)
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| 2/03/2010 1:58 PM |
Destiny's mother, Josie Arellano, described the attack during a news conference Tuesday, saying that when she saw the dogs, she grabbed her 3-year-old and fell back as two of the five dogs grabbed Destiny. "The two dogs were trying to demolish her," Arellano said as she sobbed. "I thought they were going to eat her alive right there.
| 2/03/2010 2:16 PM |
"No decision has yet been made on whether any criminal charges will be filed against the owner. City officials have no record of prior bad behavior by the dogs, Decker said. At the very least, Decker said, the owner is apt to be ticketed for exceeding the city's limit of three dogs per household and for not adequately containing the animals."
Tickets! What, worth about $200 bucks after an entire family has been physically, emotionally and financially DEVASTATED?
Way to go San Bernardino "Frankenmauler" County!
| 2/03/2010 2:16 PM |
How on earth can the pit nutters continue to defend these "frankemaulers?"
Comment from a nutter: "They must have been doing something to provoke those dogs -- dogs simply do not attack unless provoked. Never!!! children are noisy and the poor dogs probably mistook them for someone that was hurt and were really just trying to lick the children to make them feel better. Then, of course the children did the stupidest thing and screamed as they were being bitten, which only provoked the dogs more. Don't ban the breed! Ban stupid parents that take their children on walks without muzzling them first! Educate, not legislate!"
God help this poor family...
| 2/03/2010 2:25 PM |
This family indeed will need God's help. The dogs' owner stands a 0% chance of having any means of paying these medical bills (100% judgment proof!). I simply cannot imagine the horror this family faced in the attack and now faces for decades following.
| 2/03/2010 3:37 PM |
their apology is a miserable response but it's all they got. you notice it wasn't followed up with any kind of offer to cover the damages.
people need to start doing hard time for these attacks.
| 2/03/2010 3:37 PM |
They're calling the ring leader a pit bull-mastiff mix now.
"Witnesses say a pit bull/mastiff mix led the pack of dogs responsible for the attack."
| 2/03/2010 4:22 PM |
Frankly, I like it when the nutters make idiotic comments like the one quoted above. They expose themselves for the misanthropes that they are and make more people want to ban the dogs to keep them out of their hands. The pit nutters are their own worst enemies with it comes to public perception of them and their dogs. My prayers are with this devastated family.
| 2/03/2010 4:33 PM |
Nutter, you are very ignorant person. I dont believe those kids did anything to provoke them dogs so you saying parents cant walk there kids down the street on a public street. Maybe the dog owner should take some responsibilty for his dogs and maybe they should have trained them dogs to be around people and not be aggressive towards people. People have the right to walk every where they want with out the fear of being attacked by a pack of vicious pit bull mixes if owners of them cant train them right maybe they shouldnt have them. So NUTTER GROW UP. TO the Victims our Prayers our with you.
| 2/03/2010 5:45 PM |
"They would come after horses, after people. Everybody was in danger. I'm not surprised,"
Animal control has blood on its hands AGAIN!
So busy protecting the "reputation" of pit bulls and helping dog fighters and pit bull breeders breed and sell pit bulls, they neglect their jobs- to protect the SAFETY of the community.
Some of these pit bull fanatics who work in animal control are hiding aggression incidents, refusing to take reports, even personally harassing and intimidating the VICTIMS!
This has become a crime by government workers to aid and abet pit bulls to KILL MORE.
Some animal control workers are taking these animal control jobs specifically to help dangerous dogs, and cover for them and perform pit bull public relations.
Anyone who lives near those who own pit bulls must hire attorneys and be VIGILANT about officially reporting ANY incidents not only to animal control but to the police, mayor, city or county councils. Leave an OFFICIAL documented paper trail, so when the pit bull kills, animal control can't lie and cover up the dangerous incidents.
Use video cameras, cameras, DOCUMENT, too.
| 2/03/2010 5:48 PM |
A pit bull, mastiff breeding operation! Three intact males and two females -- at least one in heat. I love the speculation (see video) of a civil suit! I'm sure the dogs' owners are loaded with cash:
| 2/03/2010 9:09 PM |
Kenneth Phillips on the issue:
"Even if the victims live, the owner of the dogs that attacked this family should be prosecuted under section 399 subdivision (b) of the Penal Code, which states: “If any person owning or having custody or control of a mischievous animal, knowing its propensities, willfully suffers it to go at large, or keeps it without ordinary care, and the animal, while so at large, or while not kept with ordinary care, causes serious bodily injury to any human being who has taken all the precautions that the circumstances permitted, or which a reasonable person would ordinarily take in the same situation, is guilty of a misdemeanor or a felony."
IT IS HIGH TIME TO MAKE EXAMPLE OF A BAD DOG OWNER IN THIS REGION!
| 2/03/2010 9:18 PM |
I know this area very well. And I have been in contact with a member of the City Council who was the former Chief of Police in Fontana, wonderful man. They are seeking other charges unrelated to the typical leash laws to make charges. I don't trust the animal control officer there however, she has been known to not file cases as she should. She was taking dogs and not filing cases and the owners were blaming everyone wanting to know where the dogs were, etc. I can assure you that Fontana will not take this lightly. Fontana is the home of the Hell's Angels so you can imagine what it is like. And the Council has made great strides to turn Fontana around, they will act on this one, believe me. And again, it is the law, not animal control, that makes for these situations. Animal control has to follow the law, they can't make it up as they go. They don't like it any more than we do but it is up to us, the public, to change the laws.
Hopefully, along with the other dead child, they will start looking at BSL. San Bernardino has had more than their share of fatalities by pit bulls. I took a tour with a member of the County Board of Supervisors of the shelter when the pack of pits that killed a man were there. I took her to the quarantine area and did a "temperament" test, they didn't pass, vicious, scared her. I suggested then that we need to do BSL. San Bernardino is the largest county in the country, 22,000 square miles, most of it deserted. It is where the people who want to escape society, or for whatever reason, go to live. It goes from one of the hottest places on earth to skiing in the mountains. Difficult and unique problems for animal control. And those who want to have pits for fighting and cockfighting abound because it's hard to find them.
| 2/03/2010 9:20 PM |
And for the Correction: Fontana has their own AC officer but houses with the CITY of San Bernardino. The County of San Bernardino has no jurisdiction over this case. It does on the other one.
| 2/03/2010 9:35 PM |
I'm so tired of grieving for children mauled and killed by these dogs. It is JUST SO SENSELESS.
And how can anyone in that animal control facility take food and water to those animals knowing what they are responsible for? Don't even give me "they're just dumb animals", how do they care for those dogs knowing the condition they left that child in? How has the world come to a point where a dog that leaves a 5 year-old on life support is not immediately put down?
Oh, and congratulations to you, Toledo, for allowing Baby Ben and Reindl to put you back in a situation where there will be yards with broken-down fences with 5 pitbulls behind them. You people should be out marching against what is going on there but none of you gives a damn.
| 2/03/2010 11:23 PM |
The City of San Bernardino has a very high euthanization rate and their pit/mix population is probably around 70-80%. However, the DA is Latino, not meaning to sound racist, but I had a concern about his wanting to take animal cases. He doesn't have a very good track record. Latinos are in the majority in Fontana and they love their dog and cock fighting. Keep in mind that animal control has to put together the case but the DA has to accept it. Too many times cases are turned down by the DA. I suggest writing, as I will do, to Mike Ramos, the DA for San Bernardino, about taking this case. firstname.lastname@example.org
His office has allowed the infamous hoarder, Charlotte Spadaro, to continue to hoard since July 05 on her case. So he is a little lacking in interest in animal cases.
| 2/04/2010 7:25 AM |
I thought to myself, "It's about time for another attack to make the front page of this site. Yep. I can count the days between an attack. It's as regular as the sun.
That's the average. They recalled Toyotas for the sticking gas pedal, and yet this carnage keeps going on and on and on.
| 2/04/2010 11:09 AM |
The San Bernardino Sun (Gets it!)
We understand that it is the fault of owners and breeders that pit bulls have become so dangerous, responsible for nearly a third of fatal dog attacks over 20 years in a national study. Those who accept the risk of keeping such dogs must be held accountable for the results.
| 2/05/2010 12:14 AM |
“They recalled Toyotas for the sticking gas pedal, and yet this carnage keeps going on and on and on.”
Good observation. Sudden acceleration events in Toyota and Lexus vehicles have been blamed for 19 fatalities since 1999. That’s an average of 1.7 fatalities per year and an approximate total of 800 incidents during the same 11 year period.
The Pit Bull issue DWARFS the Toyota issue in terms of public safety!
| 2/05/2010 2:42 AM |
With the State Legislature beholden to the Dog Lobby and A/C being dominated by Pit Apologists, there is one effective way to limit the trafficking of Pit Bulls:
IMPROVE PUBLIC SAFETY...REPORT PIT BULL BREEDERS TO THE CALIFORNIA BOARD OF EQUALIZATION...THEY WILL BE ON THEM LIKE A PIT BULL ON A POODLE!
NIP MAULINGS IN THE BUD! SHUTDOWN PIT BREEDERS!
| 2/06/2010 11:06 AM |
Sadly, I believe that eventually some parent of a child killed by these dogs will emerge as a nation wide advocate, like John Walsh has done for crimes against children. I think that it will take just one parent's anguish to galvanize victims across the country into passing legislation. Unfortunately, these dogs are far more commoon in high crime, low income areas, and its the children in these areas who are most often the victims. Their families are too overwhelmed, and feel powerless to fight back. But because of the enormous PR machine of the pit advocates, more and more clueless suburban families are being convinced to adopt a shelter pit, and are told that they are "just like any other dog". Eventually, some middle class child in a nice, suburban neighborhood will be slaughtered by the "nice" pit bull next door, owned by a "nice" family....and one of those parents will turn their rage and grief into advocacy.
| 2/09/2010 10:01 PM |
The family has a lawyer now and a local church has set up a fund: "The family is in great need," said Timothy Day, a Claremont attorney hired by the family...Day said the family has not made any concrete plans on taking civil action against the former owners of the dogs. They're waiting for Destiny and her siblings to recover and are also trying to obtain a copy of the police investigation."
NO CIVIL SUIT WILL HAPPEN UNTIL THE CHILD FULLY HEALS. HOW ELSE WILL THEY KNOW HOW MUCH TO SUE FOR? DURING THIS PERIOD (3-5 YEARS?) THE FAMILY WILL BE HIT WITH OBSCENE MEDICAL BILLS!
For the next 3-5 years, until this civil suit, the dog owner will pay ZERO. And if and when sued in civil court, the dog owner will declare BANKRUPTCY, voiding any payments to the family. The only HOPE this family has is in the local church that has set up a medical fund.
The disgusting reality of owners of dangerous dog breeds is that they NEVER PAY. They "can't" as their homeowner insurance likely voids coverage of pit bulls and other dangerous dog breeds!
| 2/12/2010 3:11 AM |
I'd like to see the owner in prison chained to a giant treadmill generating electicity to fund this child's medical care.
I'm not kidding...this was a crime!
In the meantime...TAKE A BITE OUT OF CRIME!
Report Pit breeders to the California Board of Equalization.
They owe $Millions in back taxes!!!!!
| 3/24/2010 10:32 PM |
Suspect in Fontana dog mauling incident surrenders:
"Judith Mendez Lopez, 55, arrived about 1 p.m. with her attorney. She was expected to be booked into West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga."
Read more: http://www.sbsun.com/breakingnews/ci_14749216#ixzz0j9iOwIkk
| 6/04/2011 8:06 PM |
four years and four months each!
| 6/04/2011 9:17 PM |
I'm not a lawyer, but this might be very good news to CA dog bite victims:
According to prosecutors, in 2006, a delivery man was bitten. Given the dogs' nature and the holes under the fence, prosecutor Kent Williams alleged it was forseeable that harm would soon come. He referred to the dogs as "killing machines" and "tree-shredders on legs."
Because there was a previous bite and holes in the fence, the dog owners cannot claim, "I didn't know they were vicious" or "I wasn't home" (and therefore cannot be held responsible).
God only knows how the civil case is proceeding and if the victim's family will receive any restitution. The hospital bills must have been MASSIVE.
| 10/18/2011 1:37 AM |
On the 2-02-2010 Pit Bull & Mastiff attack , 5 dogs on 3 children in Fontana. I'm the person that spoke with the police about the dogs attacking people on horses. I and others ride our horses weekly on that trail. These dogs had been running under their fence (the opening under their fence was THAT big) to attack me. This yard is near my house & I ride on that trail often. A lot of people use this trail daily. It's adjacent to the railroad tracks between Catawba Ave. (dead end street) & Citrus Ave. Tracks & trail are north of Ceres.
These dog owners knew their dogs were getting out. It happened too many times and the barking, running and viciousness of these dogs was very evident. I told the police officer at the scene about the history of the dogs and he said they had shot one. They should have shot them all. When the news crews arrived, I spoke with them and at that time, saw the openings under the fence were different than a week before so the owners had filled in the usual holes but with the typical soft dry dirt and a shallow chain link fence, the dogs just moved the dirt again & out they went whenever they wanted. Owners had been living their for almost a year so this was an ongoing problem with them. Dogs had run of entire property & I doubt if anyone tried knocking on their door to complain. I sure didn't.. Don't want to get myself eaten! And, why bother, they know they have a pack of dangerous dogs AND they know they get out and attack people. Can't play ignorant!
Pit Bulls are very common in this area of Fontana.
Not the first attack of Pit Bulls from that house. Another child being pushed in a stroller by the father was attacked and babies leg chewed up around 3 years earlier. (different dog owners) No penalty for having a loose, vicious dog around here. At the worst, a ticket. Not a deterrent to having a vicious animal that leaves their yard and harm people walking by.
That's just how it is.