From left: Lee Carroll, Brenda Hill, Greg Gilbert and Marion County prosecutor.
Owner Gets Max
Indianapolis, IN - Back in December, 68-year old Brenda Hill stepped onto her porch with a trash bag in her hand. Instead of reaching the nearby trashcan, she was blindsided by two pit bulls owned by her neighbor Lee Carroll. The dogs tore into her legs so violently that one was later partially amputated. On Tuesday, Brenda left the nursing home where she continues to undergo therapy since the attack to attend the court hearing of Carroll with her family.
Carroll pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor counts of criminal dog bite liability. Before his sentencing, Carroll apologized to Hill and told the judge that he had suffered too, that he couldn't "eat or sleep" after the attack. Greg Gilbert, Hill's son, was quick to say, "I don't see how he suffered. Suffering is what my mom has been going through for the past six, seven, eight months." Gilbert added that Carroll has suffered "a little guilt" since the attack, but that's about it.
Also attending the hearing was the woman that made the two-year penalty possible. In 1992, Caress Garten was walking in Fall Creek Park park when she was brutally attacked by two loose pit bulls. The dogs tore her calf muscle away from her leg bone; her face was slashed open and her hand injured. The owner of the pit bulls pulled the dogs off of her, told her, "You won't die," then left her. Amazingly, Garten walked a hundred yards to the street and was able to flag down help.
In 1993, and due to Garten's courageous efforts, the State of Indiana passed a law (IC 15-5-12-3) that allows for criminal action after a serious dog attack. Garten tells her powerful story of survival and successful mission to change the law in her book, "On Behalf of Innocents: A True Story of a Mission, Faith, and a Promise Fulfilled." Seventeen years later, she continues to assist victims of violent dog attacks and to educate for the prevention of these attacks.
Renewed Push for Ordinance
In the wake of the attack on Brenda Hill, City-County Council Member Mike Speedy proposed a mandatory pit bull sterilization law to reduce the growing number of pit bulls and pit bull attacks in the city. Due to opposition from the Indianapolis Humane Society, the proposal was tabled in May. After Carroll's sentencing, Speedy spoke to WTHR and reminded viewers that his proposal "will help separate the responsible owners from the irresponsible owners."
04/24/09: Indianapolis Councillor Files "At Risk" Dog Proposal Today
03/07/09: Coverage of Indianapolis Serious Pit Bull Attacks and Controversy
02/10/09: Brenda Hill, 68, Attacked by Pit Bulls While Taking Out the Trash
02/12/09: Indianapolis Must Enact a Pit Bull Law or Serious Maulings Will Continue
11/09/08: Indiana Attack Victim Responds to Recent Pit Bull Attacks