Many Attacks in a Modest-Sized Town
Bartlesville, OK - In January 2006, the Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise newspaper compiled a history of pit bull attacks that were published by the paper. Bartlesville has a population of about 35,000. The list does not include each and every incident involving a pit bull during this time period, but it is representative of the variety of news stories published by the paper between October 2004-June 2005.
Oct. 2004 - Noah Cross, 6-Years Old
6-year old Noah Cross of Bartlesville is attacked by a relative's pit bull. Cross loses part of an ear, has fractured bones in his cheeks and an eye socket and requires 1,000 stitches as a result of the attack. "They had to put his face back together," Cross's mother is quoted as saying in the aftermath of the attack. The owner of the dog said that had been called a "friendly dog." was later euthanized.
Nov. 1, 2004 - City of Dewey Concerned
A group of citizens appear before the Dewey City Council to air concerns about pit bull dogs roaming free in town. Several citizens recount stories of attacks on other animals and relay fears that a child could be attacked. One citizen says that they don't want what happened to Noah Cross in Bartlesville to happen in Dewey.
Note: About a year later, Cody Adair, 4-years old, is killed by his uncle's pit bull in Bartlesville. At the time he was killed, Bartlesville was implementing a new dog ordinance. The new ordinance, however, would not have prevented Cody's death. The ordinance mainly addressed dogs with a "bite history." The dog that killed Cody did not have a previous bite record.
Dec. 20, 2004 - Unnamed, 10-Year Old Girl
A pit bull attacks a 10-year-old girl in the 1100 block of S.W. Maple Avenue. The girl tells officers that she had been walking home from school from her bus stop when a pit bull bit her backpack and pulled her to the ground. She says that once she was on the ground the dog tore her shirt and bit her on the left knee. The same dog, "Chevy," would later attack other children. The grandfather of the dog's 17-year old owner, Roy Quattlebaum, describes the attack by saying that the dog "nipped" the little girl on the finger "but that was because she (the dog) was being teased."
May 9, 2005 - Christopher Bailey, 11-Years Old
11-year old Christopher Bailey and his two siblings are attacked by a pit bull dog while they walk home from school. Christopher fends the dog off of his younger brother and sister but is injured in the process. A local man, Bill Mathis assists the children. Animal Control officer Bob Paris, later reports that when he saw Christopher following the attack, he had "both legs covered in blood." It is the dog's second reported attack on a human. Roy Quattlebaum, the grandfather of the dog's owner later tells that Examiner-Enterprise that the dog, "Chevy," was teased. The dog is euthanized following this second attack.
June 12, 2005 - Cody Yelton, 3-Years Old
About 160 miles away, in the City of Moore, three-year old Cody Yelton is attacked by four pit bull in a neighbor's yard. The animals pulled him through two fences. The boy's grandmother is later quoted after the attack, as saying that the boy's arm "looked like a chicken leg with all the meat eaten off." Although he survives the attack, his arm is later amputated up to his shoulder.
Note: This attack drew wide-spread attention, particularly from State Representative Paul Wesselhoft (also from Moore). The following year, Wesselhoft introduces state-wide legislation that would require current pit bull owners to build childproof, 8-foot-high fences; spay or neuter existing pit bulls; and carry a $100,000 liability insurance policy on each dog.
09/22/08: Oklahoma: One State's Struggle with a Breed-Specific Prohibition