Pit Bull Owner Larry F. Barker Behind Bars
UPDATE 04/16/08: Barker was arrested for felonious assault and sent to Stark County Jail after he allegedly sicced his pit bull on officer Kevin Fox. Other charges include: four citations, two for each pit bull, for not having rabies vaccinations, and failure to apply for a dog license. First-degree misdemeanor charges will also be brought for failure to have liability insurance and improper confinement.
The charges are stacking up.
04/10/08: Dog Warden Shoots Pit Bull; Dog is Euthanized
Deputy Dog Warden Kevin Fox shot the attacking dog, which was later euthanized. At least three neighbors defended Fox. "The dog was about to attack. The dog warden had no choice," said Lessia Williams. Her and her son were chased by the dog prior to Fox's arrival.
"He did his job. That's what our tax dollars are for," said Vernon Hawkins, another resident who has been terrorized by the dogs. A third neighbor, Ramon Gonzalez, said he was confronted by the dog as he stepped from his home and was forced to jump on the hood of his truck.
Williams shouted at Barker to bring his dog inside. But Barker only shouted back profanity. So she called the police and Hawkins called the dog warden.
When Fox arrived, William's husband Dantez was already banging on Barker's door. Fox asked him to step back and asked Barker, the dog owner, for the dog's paperwork. Shortly thereafter, according to neighbors, Barker's opened the door and said "Get him, go!'"
The deputy said his back was turned. He didn't see the dog come out or hear Barker's words; he was busy on the phone calling for back-up. When he turned and saw the dog charging, he drew his .38 and fired, striking the pit bull in the neck. The pit bull retreated and hunkered down on the porch steps.
Pit-loving Barker yelled out, "You might as well shoot it again because I can't afford to take it to the vet."
Fox did not shoot the dog again, and by this time, police had arrived. Barker got busted big time. In addition to felonious assault charges, he was cited for failure to have liability insurance, registration, proof of rabies vaccinations and improper confinement of two pit bull dogs.
04/09/08: Owner Faces 10 Years in Jail
Canton, OH - In a developing story, an Alliance, Ohio, man faces 10 years in prison on a charge that he ordered his pit bull dog to attack the Stark County dog warden.
Larry Barker, 36, was arrested on a felonious assault charge. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine.
The report said he let his pit bull dog out and ordered it to attack the dog warden. The records do not indicate whether anyone was injured. The dog warden's office could not be reached for comment this morning. Barker remained in jail this morning, held in lieu of $50,000 bond.
Pit bulls in the state of Ohio are automatically declared "vicious" and require licensing, rabies vaccinations, a minimum $100,000 liability insurance and special housing. Some cities regulate them even further. Stark County (and possibly others), publish a list of registered vicious dog owners online: Stark County vicious dogs.