Why Can Felons Own Pit Bulls?
Sebago, ME - The man accused of ordering his pit bull to attack a Cumberland County Sheriff's deputy has been charged with being a felon in possession of guns. Ricky Norton, 49, also was charged with assault on an officer, disorderly conduct, carrying a concealed knife and possession of marijuana.
Cumberland County Sheriff’s Deputy Josh Potvin is recovering from injuries today after being attacked by the pit bull Tuesday night. Potvin had knocked on a door on Bridgton Road in Sebago in an attempt to serve a protection from abuse order on Norton, when he heard a dog barking and somebody giving orders for the dog to attack.
The door opened and the dog charged at him biting at his chest. Potvin was protected by his ballistic vest but the dog bit him on both legs before the owner restrained it. Potvin then drove himself to Maine Medical Center where he received stitches in his left leg and bandages on his right.
The dog has been quarantined by Sebago’s animal control officer. Police did not have any information about whether the dog’s rabies shots were up to date. Norton is being held on $2,540 bail at Cumberland County Jail. He is a convicted felon after committing a burglary and aggravated assault in the late 1970s, authorities said.
Pit bulls are consistently used by criminals to carry out illegal operations. So why are convicted felons allowed to own these dogs? Policymakers need to understand just how tightly felons and pit bulls are connected.
In other news:
Tempe Police Officer Shoots Pit Bull
Tempe, AZ - A Tempe police officer shot and killed a large pit bull Monday afternoon. Officials said the dog had been aggressive toward a park ranger and the officer. A park ranger came into contact with the dog in an alley near Southern Avenue and Rural Road between a residential area and the library at about 1:30 p.m. Police spokeswoman Cindy Davies said the dog began to advance on the park ranger and he had to climb a block wall and call police. When police arrived, the officer was forced to shoot the dog when it began to threaten him as well.
Don't Mess with Kennewick, Washington
Kennewick, WA - Pit bull laws have more teeth than owners might think. Take Ruben Reyes, who claims he was teaching his pit bull pup to swim, without a leash, at Columbia Park last month when the dog started barking at a stranger.
That stranger was carrying a can of mace and then pulled out a gun to protect himself.
There was no attack but cops were called and police claim Reyes broke the law. Reyes now faces criminal charges, accused of harboring potentially dangerous animals. Reyes was a former correctional officer for Coyote Ridge and plans to apply for state, or even federal, jobs in the future. A one-time criminal conviction could put a halt to those plans.
Both Kennewick and Pasco have ordinances that specifically restrict pit bulls. That means you have to get permits and follow special rules, even if your pup is a mixed breed. These rules surprised Reyes (even though he was a former correctional officer), and he feels discriminated against because he owns a pair of pit bulls.