UPDATE 08/19/09: Michael Baggett has been arrested again. Earlier this month he was charged with obstruction of justice and filing a false police report after his pit bull violently attacked his mother and her dog. Both he and his mother, Sandra Manes, lied about the incident and blamed it on a "rottweiler-mix." Over the weekend, Baggett was arrested and charged with two counts of prescription fraud after an incident Saturday at a CVS Pharmacy on Courthouse Road.
Amy Baggett, 29, was also arrested and charged in the incident.
08/10/09: Mother and Son Face Charges
Sandra Manes and her 32-year old son Michael Baggett were arrested and charged with obstruction of justice and filing a false police report. Manes was also charged with cruelty to animals. Baggett was additionally charged with failing to have proper rabies shots for his dog, as well as, a county dog license. Manes had reported that she was walking her dog when it was attacked by a "rottweiler mix." But the attack actually stemmed from her son's pit bull.
Commonwealth's Attorney William Neely said the incident occurred in the family's back yard. Neely said the animal cruelty charge was filed against Manes because the incident occurred about 1 a.m. and wasn't reported until six to eight hours later. Neely said the Labrador suffered all that time. Manes was released on a personal recognizance bond. Baggett, however, is no stranger to jail and was placed in the Rappahannock Regional Jail under a $2,500 bond.
As a DogsBite.org commenter noted right away, Baggett served a 7-year prison term as the result of his role in a 1996 slaying at a rest stop in Dale City. Bobby Lee Durham Sr. of Dover, Pennsylvania, was shot in a bathroom stall during a robbery in which he did not resist. Baggett, who was 19 at the time and testified for the prosecution, was convicted of conspiracy. His two accomplices, Andre Carter and Khalif Rodriguez, got 44- and 18-year sentences respectively.
08/07/09: Victim Called Dog a Rottweiler-Mix
Spotsylvania County, VA - In what ought to enrage rottweiler owners, Sandra Manes, 60, told authorities that a rottweiler-mix attacked her when in truth it was her son's pit bull. The dog killed Mane's own dog and left her with puncture wounds, a broken shinbone and a broken finger. Police discovered the "breed cover up" after receiving an anonymous tip. The son, Michael Baggett, admitted to officials it was his pit bull, which had been hidden in his room since the incident.
The attack on Manes and her dog caused county authorities to issue a warning to Wilburn Farms subdivision residents telling them to "stay inside" and "be on the lookout" until the loose rottweiler was caught (see video). Authorities also left fliers on mailboxes with the image of a rottweiler and description of Sunday's lethal attack. "Obviously do not approach this animal," 1st Sgt. Liz Scott of the Spotsylvania Sheriff's Department said. "Take shelter and call us immediately."
County authorities were rightfully concerned given that in 2005, 82-year old Dorothy Sullivan and her dog "Buttons" were killed by three loose pit bulls about 30 miles away. Sullivan's family subsequently sued four Spotsylvania County animal control officers in civil court for gross negligence in the events leading up to her death. On the criminal side, the owner of the pit bulls, Deanna Large, became the first person in Virginia convicted in a case involving a pet killing a person.
03/13/09: Couple Blames Cougar for Serious Attack Inflicted by Their Own Pit Bull
03/06/09: 2005 Fatality: Victim's Family Sues Animal Control in Spotsylvania
09/24/08: Pit Bull Owner Blames Attack on "Made Up" Pit Bull