Judge Rules in Favor of Dog Owner
UPDATE 11/07/08: The owner of a pit bull that mauled a Central Florida man so severely that his leg had to be amputated will not have to pay a $500 fine for the attack, a judge ruled on Friday. Brevard County Judge A.B. Majeed said there was no evidence that Anthony Phillips, 25, of Palm Bay, allowed his 4-year-old dog Kilo to attack his cousin on September 5th that lead to catastrophic injury. The judge said:
"Yes, there was no provocation. Yes, there was severe injury. But these were all preceded by this requirement that the court must find the defendant permitted or allowed the dog to attack ...I find regrettably and sadly that based on the law as it is written that I cannot find Mr. Anthony Phillips guilty of this citation."
Due to the fact that the dog owner was not found guilty, Roger Lindee's civil case may suffer serious implications. The owner of the attacking dogs, Anthony Phillips, has consistently argued that Lindee "brought the attack on himself by barging into his home uninvited." We pray that the Florida statue will fully cover Lindee in a civil court and that Phillips is held strictly liable for the attack (Read full statute):
"...A person is lawfully upon private property of such owner within the meaning of this act when the person is on such property upon invitation, expressed or implied, of the owner."
10/30/08: Judge Will "Take Time" to Review
A judge is going to "take time" before ruling on the case in which Roger Lindee's leg was chewed off by his cousin's pit bull. Judge A.B. Majeed said, "There are a lot of factors to be considered...and the last thing I want to do is make a hasty ruling." What is at stake is whether or not Lindee's cousin, Anthony Phillips, is guilty of a $600 fine for violating county ordinances regulating attacks and the proper securing of animals.
Judge can't quickly choose: $600 fine or losing a leg.
Nearly a dozen people -- including animal control and police officers -- testified during the trial. Phillips said he shouldn't have to pay the $600 in fines. He says his cousin Lindee brought the attack on himself by barging into his home uninvited. Lindee said he never physically stepped into the home. The 75-pound dog grabbed him by the leg and dragged him into the foyer after he knocked on the door, then opened it slightly to call out Phillips' name.
We hope the judge spends a great deal of time considering Lindee's future.
10/17/08: Roger Lindee's Story
Roger Lindee told FloridaToday.com that he prayed for an angel as he lay in a ditch, blood oozing from his body. The angels came in the form of two good Samaritans, who held a snarling pit bull at bay until authorities arrived, and saved him from death. Lindee was rushed into surgery after the attack. Now he lives in a different hell: Surviving with pit bull injury.
Lindee's right leg was amputated below the knee. He suffered multiple bite wounds, broken fingers and a broken left ankle. The 41-year-old Palm Bay man has limited use of both arms. He has flashbacks of flesh and muscle being ripped from his bones and of the sounds of gunshots and sirens. "I felt like I was fighting a person. I was choking him, and we were on the ground rolling," Lindee said. "I was asking God to help me because I knew I was dying."
The owner of the 4-year-old attacking pit bull is Lindee's cousin, Anthony Phillips, 25. Phillips will go to trial to contest three citations stemming from the September 5th attack that might cost him nearly $700 in fines. As Phillips stands in court with two full legs, we hope the judge is shown a photo of Lindee. Phillips is facing fines for allegedly violating vaccination rules, attacks and the securing of animals. He is not charged with any criminal offense.
Lindee and Phillips have differing accounts of the attack.
Lindee said he knocked on the front door and stepped into the home when the dog named Kilo attacked, dragging him into the foyer. All three dogs (pit bulls) mauled Lindee for several minutes. Phillips and his fiance were able to pull the smaller dogs off, but Kilo latched on. Lindee said he managed to crawl outside, but the attack continued until two neighbors -- armed with a shovel and pitchfork -- beat the dog, allowing Lindee to wiggle away into a ditch.
Phillips and his 26-year-old fiance, Kameesha Bullock, say Lindee, who had visited their home only once before, loudly burst in unannounced, prompting the attack. Bullock said she used a kitchen knife to repeatedly stab Kilo. Phillips suffered dozens of puncture wounds when the dog turned on him. Kilo, who had never been aggressive before, was only protecting his home, the couple said. They claim the other two dogs were not involved.
According to Brevard Animal Services, dogs account for about 850 of 1,500 to 1,700 animal-bite cases each year. Those statistics, coupled with his own ordeal, have inspired Lindee. He plans to lobby lawmakers to enact tougher regulations on pit bull owners and for stiffer fines for those who incur violations -- or possibly to ban the breed altogether. He also hopes to deter the use of the breed in illegal fighting and drug enterprises.
DogsBite.org urges Lindee to lobby lawmakers to lift the state prohibition of breed-specific law. A Florida House bill this year by Rep. Perry Thurston, D-Plantation, seeking to lift the prohibition died in committee.
10/08/08: Dog Owner Blames Victim
Palm Bay, FL - In our weekly Police Shooting Reports, victims often go unnamed and injuries undetermined. Yet these attacks may involve serious injury and are not followed up by news sources. This instance involves an attack that occurred on September 5 and was recorded in our weekly police report. The victim's leg was amputated in the attack. Currently, the pit bull owner is in court and blaming the victim.
The owner of a pit bull that was involved in a Sept. 5 attack that cost one victim his leg will go to trial Oct. 29 to contest three citations issued ordering him to pay nearly $700 in fines for related animal offense infractions. Court records show Animal Services ticketed Anthony Phillips, 25, of Palm Bay for failing to vaccinate and secure the animal, which resulted in an attack that seriously injured 41-year-old Roger Lindee, also of Palm Bay.
In addition to multiple bite wounds and a broken left ankle, Lindee says he now has limited use of both arms. His right leg was amputated below the knee. The 4-year-old pit bull terrier, Kilo, was fatally shot after it charged at two officers who responded to calls for help. Phillips, who was also bitten while trying to help Lindee during the attack, said he should not be held liable because the dog was only protecting its home when Lindee barged in unannounced.
09/10/08: 09/04-10/08 Pit Bulls Shot by Police