Felony Dog Bite Law Clamps Down On Pit Bull Owner
Waco, TX - A man whose pit bull mauled a North Waco 12-year-old was arrested on felony "attack by dog" charges Friday in the first “Lillian’s Law” case that Waco police have brought.
Ancelmo Banda, 22, was arrested Friday morning in connection with the Nov. 26 incident that sent young Deodrick Ware to the hospital for deep wounds to his left leg. According to the arrest warrant affidavit, the dog escaped its chain-link fencing through an improperly secured gate and made an “unprovoked attack” on the boy.
“I was walking to school when all of a sudden the dogs came out,” he said. “One knocked me down, and the other one bit me on the leg...I thought they were going to bite my leg off.”
The warrant for Banda was issued Dec. 10, 2007, but Banda failed to turn himself in and was arrested by a police detective at a poultry plant where he worked. He was released from jail late Friday on $5,000 bond.
The case was brought under “Lillian’s Law,” a tough new dog-bite law that took effect last year. In the case of Banda, this may mean up to 10 years in jail and a $10,000 dollar fine. Assistant Police Chief Ryan Holt said he expects the Waco Police Department to seek more prosecutions under the new law.
"Fortunately, we don’t have a lot of vicious animal attacks, but when we do, and it involves the negligence of somebody, this gives us some teeth."
It appears that animal control and the legal system are still getting used to the new law. Lloyd Ware, Deodrick’s grandfather, said that the pit bull who bit the boy was still in Banda’s front yard. Holt said this was a mistake. Animal control has since picked up the dog.