No Endangering Charges
Hamilton, OH - After a pit bull named "Monster" broke out of its cage and attacked the 5-year old daughter of its owner, authorities will not file child endangering charges against the parents. On Monday, Payton Tunstall, was reportedly playing in the backyard of her father’s house in the 400 block of Knightsbridge Drive when the attack occurred. The pit bull inflicted serious injuries to her head, face, legs and arms. Payton was airlifted by medical helicopter to the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and continues to be listed in critical condition.
Ohio state law (955.22) mandates the "secure enclosure" of pit bulls, so the father, Chris Tunstall, is being charged for failing to properly confine the dog. Animal control officials say the dog got out because of an "issue with the lock on the cage." Last year in Youngstown, a pit bull owned by Paul Richardson Sr. chewed through its cage and attacked his 6-year old son. The father then blamed the cage manufacturer. While pleading "not guilty" to charges for failure to confine the animal, he told the court the ties were not metal but aluminum, "so they snapped."
Tunstall is also being charged with failing to obtain liability insurance, a separate requirement under Ohio state law for owners of pit bulls.
12/14/08: Pit Bull Breaks Through Glass Door to Attack 10-Year Old Child
08/08/08: Comment: Pit Bulls are 14 Times More Likely to Break Constraint to Attack
05/29/08: Youngstown Boy is Home from the Hospital