From left: Edmund Spain, Bernard Moore, Leon Lopez and one of the two pit bulls.
Belize City, BZ - After initially suppressing information about a brutal pit bull attack that killed 65-year old Edmund Spain, authorities are now charging the dogs' owners, Leon Lopez and Shelda Patnett, with Manslaughter by Negligence, Causing Death by Careless Conduct and Keeping an Unmuzzled Ferocious Dog. The charges come after Spain's Belizean-American family members investigated the attack and demanded charges be brought against the dogs' owners.
On June 15, Bernard Moore, his wife Amy Moore and nephew Alton White reported to Amandala Online, a Belize newspaper, that Bernard's brother, Edmund Spain, had been killed by two pit bulls near Hattieville. The three Belizean-Americans had flown from the United States to bury their loved one, who had been minding a house for them near Hattieville. The family questioned why police did not report the May 31 incident and vowed to investigate the deadly attack.
Information uncovered by the family included that on May 31, Spain had gone to Belize City by bus to pick up a bi-weekly allowance from them which he used to help run the house. Upon finishing his trip and purchasing some groceries, Spain was walking toward the house when two pit bulls slid under a neighbor's fence and attacked. Eyewitnesses ran for police help, but because no vehicle was available, police had to use bicycles and did not reach the scene for 20 minutes.
No matter the hospital, no matter the location in the world, a 20-minute sustained attack by two pit bulls equals certain death.
Not only did police authorities neglect to report the incident in their daily bulletin, they allowed the dogs' owners to keep the pit bulls. According to Amandala Online, it is standard practice to put down dogs after they kill a person. In a separate news article, Jim McFadzean of News 7 interviewed Spain's brother, Moore, who said that the "nonchalant attitude" on the part of the dogs' owner demonstrates that he holds dogs in greater esteem and value than his brother.
"I look at that young man. I saw him with his sunshade on and with his smirky attitude and his macho behaviour and I said to myself there is something wrong with this young man. If you are going to have two dogs that actually kill a man and you are talking like you are so concerned about your dog instead of concerning about my brother that's the thing that has me real upset."
Moore says any statements by the owners of the dogs that they have reached out to assist the family in any way is untrue.
We presume the "smirky attitude" dried up after Lopez was charged.
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