Victor Garces, 12, was mauled to death by dogs on Friday in Hollis, Oklahoma.
Dog Owners Arrested
UPDATE 12/18/19: On Wednesday, it was announced that two men were arrested in connection to the dog mauling death of a 12-year old boy. 53-year-old Jacob Benavidez and 44-year-old Ruben Benavidez, who are brothers, were arrested on charges of manslaughter in the second-degree and cruelty to animals. Victor Garces was killed by two dogs belonging to the brothers on Friday while walking home alone from school. Police shot and killed both dogs at the scene.
Court documents state the brothers deprived the dogs of food and water, and allowed the animals to be at large. A third dog at the scene belonged to the victim. Apparently, that dog came from the boy's yard, which is a block away from the attack scene, and tried to defend the boy. It's unclear if anyone witnessed that or the fatal attack. District Attorney David Thomas said the Benavidez brothers will make a court appearance in the next few days. Bond has been set for $75,000.1
Section 717: "If the owner of a mischievous animal, knowing its propensities, willfully suffers it to go at large, or keeps it without ordinary care, and such animal, while so at large or not confined, kills any human being who has taken all the precautions which the circumstances permitted, to avoid such animal, the owner is deemed guilty of manslaughter in the second degree." Second-degree manslaughter is a felony on Oklahoma and is punishable by up to 4 years in prison.
12/16/19: Teenage Victim Identified
The fatal dog mauling victim has been identified as 12-year old Victor Louis Garces. On Friday afternoon, Garces was mauled to death by up to three dogs as he walked in an alley on his way home from school. Harmon Electric Company employees found the boy's body and notified law enforcement officials. Oklahoma Third Judicial District Attorney David Thomas announced Saturday that a criminal investigation is underway concerning his death, reports the Altus Times.
The District Attorney's Drug and Violent Crime Task Force has also joined the investigation into the boy's death, according to the Altus Times.
"A full investigation is ongoing and will continue until we have all the answers regarding how this senseless death could have happened," Thomas said in the prepared statement. The Hollis elementary school, Sallie Gillentine, posted Sunday, "Hollis Public School will recognize a moment of silence at 8:10 am Monday December 16th in memory of Victor Garces." Garces was in the 6th grade. Currently, students and staff are collecting a love offering in memory of Victor Garces.
Late Monday Updates
Late Monday, KSWO spoke to relatives of the boy. Victor left school early on Friday and walked home alone, apparently because he was sick and his mother was sick too and could not pick him up. He only lived a few blocks away from the school. "How long was he laying out there, how long were those dogs eating my nephew, really how long?" asked Maria McMullin, Victor’s great aunt. Authorities shot and killed two dogs at the scene Friday and captured a third dog on Monday.
Amanda Perez, another great aunt of Victor, said the dogs "didn't just kill him, they were practically eating him." Perez said the dogs' owner "knew his dogs were vicious." The news video footage shows the dirt alley and the dog owner's dilapidated fence. The alley divides a row of homes from a fenced-in industrial yard. A clumped up red blanket is seen lying near the dog owner's fence in the alley. Family members are still in shock, reports KSWO. Victor's funeral is set for Saturday.
12/14/19: Teenage Boy Killed by Dogs
Hollis, OK - Family members say a teenage boy was killed by multiple dogs Friday afternoon, reports KSWO. As of late Friday night, the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI) had not responded to requests for information. A witness at the scene told KSWO the victim was a teenager. He was walking home from school just after noon when three dogs attacked him in an alley, according to family members. Police shot and killed two of the dogs; the third dog got away.
The video footage shows multiple law enforcement at the scene, including Hollis Police, Harmon County Sheriff's Office, OSBI and the Oklahoma Medical Examiner’s office. Hollis is a small city in the southwest corner of Oklahoma with a population just below 2,000. It is the county seat of Harmon County. We have no previous dog bite fatalities on record for this county, which lies on the border of East Texas. The nearest larger Oklahoma city is Lawton, about 90 miles to the east.
The Facebook Post
On the accompanying KSWO Facebook post, multiple people claim pit bulls are the culprits. Including Kim Glen, "Yes it was 2 pits. Yes it was a family member's dogs." Belinda Bennet, "I know an officer, it was 3 pit bulls." Zack Cress, "It was actually pit bulls, or at least 2 of them were. My kids live there and my ex knows the family." Also, Cyndi Pierce, "I live in Hollis and there was three pits that attacked a little 12 year old boy he was in my granddaughter's class." [sic].
Teenage Age Group
In our 14-year data set of 471 dog bite fatalities (2005 to 2018), teenage deaths are rare. Within the 10-18 years age group, there are only 7 victims and 5 victims fall between the ages of 10-12 years, which are "tween" years. There are only 2 teenage victims, a 13-year old and 14-year old. Yet during 2019, there may now be 3 of these deaths. That would mean that more teenagers (13 to 18 years old) have been killed by dogs in a single year than in the previous 14 years combined.
08/13/19: 2019 Dog Bite Fatality: Texas Teen Dies After Brutal Attack by Three Pit Bulls
06/21/19: 2019 Dog Bite Fatality: Dighton Dog Attack Leaves a 14-Year Old Boy Dead...
Vicious Dog Attacks in Oklahoma by Butch Bridges, a log of Oklahoma vicious dog attacks.
Law enforcement departments across the United States should release consistent "baseline" information to the media and the public after each fatal dog mauling, including these items.
Right before Christmas, too.
My deepest condolences to the family this young man.
There’s no excuse for this. None.
No doubt the pitbull apologists will be out in full force, claiming he had no business in an alley with loose pitbulls. Or blaming the owner for abusing them or any other pile of utter tripe.
I’ve already seen one comment stating that no kid should be walking down an ally.
Especially when said child isn’t feeling well and has to go home from school. (Sarcasm off.)
Prayers for this family. Interested in knowing the rest of the story, prior issues, where the third dog is, etc. Speechless, here. Again, prayers…
I wonder if these two (from Kim Glenn’s FB) are the culprits. She seems to know for sure that it was two pits and here are two:
My other thought is that Oklahoma has a lot of pit bulls. Lots of maulings on the Google search.
Yeah. Another kid seriously injured but not killed in Ada, OK.
WOW. Just wow. That is a lot of attacks for the 29th most populace state.
Isn’t it? I contacted him, Colleen and he had seen it on TV. Reading his log was just… The non fatal attacks are what we often don’t see.
You never know. Walking down the street. Without any advance warning, no notice, killed by three loose dangerous animals. Either they were always friendly, or they they had shown signs of aggression in the past. Either way, same outcome.
“…it was a family members dogs.” His family? Either way, the hostility of the surface of this earth, and evil, wicked people sent him to Heaven without asking him first. That would have been a nicety. You never know, walking on the street in America. Painful death by pet animals.
The “yes it was pit bulls but” responses on FB are troubling. It’s been about 20 years since the US really began this experiment of treating pit bull breeds as family pets – and in 20 short years, in order to explain away pit bull violence in a breed-blind way, a scary number of people have gone from expecting dogs to be safe to at claiming that all dogs will at any given moment likely attack and kill a human. This attitude is, with all due respect to those injured and killed by pit bulls, the #1 problem with this experiment in pit bull rehab – that in in order to normalize the pit bulls, the owners are trying to force everyone else to reshape their understanding of what a dog is.
In order to keep pit bulls legal and easy to acquire, pit bull owners are completely willing to erase the long, valuable history of dogs being safe – and destroy the future. Imagine a world where everyone truly believes all dogs are, as a species, by nature unpredictable, violent innocents who need exotics fencing and 24/7 surveillance around children, seniors or any lifeform not armed with an Uzi. We just wouldn’t have dogs. Forget banning breeds, the whole species would be banned, just as tigers are banned as pets. No more guide dogs. No more service dogs. No more pets for children. No more companions for seniors. No more farm dogs. No more show dogs. No more family dogs. The work going on now to see if dogs can really detect cancer? Gone. The use of vet care in dogs with bone cancer to help guide bone cancer treatments in children? Gone. The use of dogs in police and military work, to make it safer for humans? Gone.
In order to keep pit bulls legal and easy to acquire, pit bull owners are completely willing to erase the long, valuable history of dogs being safe – and destroy the future.
Pit bulls — history of aggression
Pit bull pushers — aggression of history
They lie about and distort what tens of millions of people can see with their own eyes.
They have gotten as far as they have, I think, not just because of the money (substantial), but because the majority of people (1) are not confrontational by nature (they go along to get along), and (2) have not personally had nasty encounters with pit bulls & other fighting breeds.
You make an excellent point that in order to normalize pit bull behavior, the pit pushers have to succeed in pathologizing the rest of the subspecies.
My hunch is that they have succeeded thus far because they have met so little resistance. For both reasons I stated above, but also a third reason — I don’t think most owners of non-fighting dogs have caught on to the agenda. These dog owners do not realize that the pit nutters are making this a zero-sum campaign — pits win only by making all other dogs lose.
Once tens of millions of regular dog owners wake up to the reality of the agenda — Accepting Pibbles As Pets requires Accepting All Dogs As Potential Lethal Maulers — I think we will see pushback.
So far we have seen chihuahuas thrown under the bus. That was an interesting choice on the part of the pit pushers. Choose a breed that simultaneously (1) evokes strong dislike from a lot of people who don’t own one, and (2) has a non-existent fatal mauling record, therefore the pit pushers can talk about “chihuahua bites” all day long while evading a true apples to apples comparison.
The history of crazy cults and antisocial movements in this country shows a similar pattern almost regardless of what the cult is — it gets ignored, then accommodated on the fringe, then indulged for a time in the mainstream as it push-push-pushes for more and more space in society.
Being a noxious cult, however, its devotees do what cult-worshippers do — they aren’t satisfied with acceptance, so they push for submission. (Remember, all cults are about CONTROL and POWER. The pibble cult is no different.) But when the cult goes for society’s jugular (so to speak), it gets hammered and shoved back into the sewer whence it came.
Unfortunately, I expect things to get worse, way worse, before they get better. The vast majority of people don’t react until they feel the threat is on their doorstep. The vast majority of normal dog owners won’t react until they feel their own dog is under threat.
I’m curious to see if the pit pushers try to go after German Shepherds in the way they have gone after chihuahuas. Unlike chihuahuas this is a breed physically capable of killing people. But GSDs also have a mile-long track record of noble service to humans.
Pit pushers (and ordinary people who unwittingly parrot the propaganda) say, “Any dog can –.”
And yet — “any dog” DOES NOT. If there were an equal risk with every breed of dog, which is the idea that “Any Dog Can” is supposed to convey, then we would see equal distribution of aggressive incidents, bites, maulings and fatalities across the spectrum of all domesticated dogs. But we don’t. Pit bulls and pit bull types occupy a category of exceptionally high risk. It’s never “Any Dog” that is found there in the mauler corner. Time and time again, it’s a pibble or a pibble mix.
Well thought out. Comparing the pushers and this movements is spot on. They are trying to get the rest of us to drink the Kool-aid.
Now there seems to be a concentrated effort to throw golden retrievers under the bus. Whereas once I heard “Chihuahuas bite more” near universally, in the past couple of years I’ve heard more and more “goldens bite more; goldens are more dangerous than pits.”
Colleen has a page on bite statistics of pit bulls vs other breeds:
You won’t be surprised to find that Golden Retrievers are not the baddies of the dog world, despite nutters wishing it were so.
Quote snip: “…Expect pit bull fans to not understand the results of the study at all.” Not one little bit. Zero understanding. Why? Because there are numbers involved. Percentage of the general population that knows what a Chi Squared Analysis is? Low, but a little bit above effectively zero. Percentage of the pit bull fan population that knows what a chi squared analysis is? Effectively zero.
The list of breeds that the country of Ireland lists as Restricted, would make a great start as a worldwide Ban list. Also, breeds and sizes that are universally recognized as being only capable of delivering injury to the ankles, have been recently judged in Prescott Municipal Court as legally being fully defensible against, if a reasonable person is facing immediate threat of ankle injury from such a dog. After 8,000 pedestrian miles in 3.5 years, I been threatened by loose dogs more than a few times, and because it is a nice neighborhood with nice people, none of them have been pit bulls. They were of many various breeds and sizes, whole body threateners on down to just merely ankle injury threateners. In the self defense case that I won, I argued that no distal portion of my body, and no size dog is exempt from Arizona self defense law. The prosecutor concretely disagreed, and the judge concretely disagreed with the prosecutor. I need my ankles Uninjured for the rest of my brief life; they are critical body parts needed for standing and walking. I will defend them from immediate injury to the fullest extent of the law. House cats, illegal drugs and nothing else on this planet has ever immediately threatened them.
My father in law was killed outside of Broken Bow ok Dec.14. At his home. The story is on the front page of the McCurtsin Gazettee today. It is a paper from Idabel, OK laws need to be in place for vicious dogs whether they be in city limits or county limits they need secure pens
I found this after reading your above post: https://www.facebook.com/LacieLowryNews9/posts/2947220775322804
He was killed outside his house by his neighbors dogs. Our homes are not safe. Our unfenced properties are not safe. Our streets are not safe. No advance warning. Normal residential neighborhood, local laws are not in place. I have a few strong emotions about your uncle being painfully slaughtered by someones pet animals.
Tawsha, so very sorry to hear about your father-in-law. I read his obituary — he sounds like such a great man who helped his community and family so much. I love that his college degree was in forestry — that’s a man who loves the outdoors!
It is obscene what happened to him and his small dog. So terribly unfair what your family is being put through. Please keep in touch with Colleen, and she will make every effort to accurately and thoroughly document this incident.
FB comments can get hostile and crazy but always remember that you can find support on sites like this and others where the victims of pit bulls and fatal dog attacks are put first.
Your FIL lived a good and true life. He counted, he matters, and he will be remembered. Prayers for you and your family.
Some amazing and brilliant insights here. We have an odd relationship with animals nowadays. The national news ran a story recently about a woman who kept tigers or lions. She was attacked. Big surprise! She was in the hospital and claimed they were just “playing with her.” She couldn’t wait to get back to her Big Cats. This denial of DNA/genetics is astounding. We see it with pit bull advocates all the time. I live in a place where I see more and more educated people with pit bulls. I agree, this will get worse before it ever gets better. Meanwhile, children will continue to pay the price, whether it’s death or a life altering injury.
Kim Glenn is vile. She talks about “y’all slamming the dogs and owners not knowing the facts.” I think I know where this is going:
“The FACTS” Pick one or two…(Sarcasm font on)
-No one saw this happen so y’all don’t know what happened.
-He opened the fence to let them dogs out to play with him.
-He knew those dogs.
-He was getting them dogs agitated.
-He used food held up high to get them to jump over the fence (excuse used if gate was latched)
-He committed suicide and used them dogs to do it!
-There were coyotes that killed him while the dogs were trying to protect him and the cops murdered hero pit bulls.
-Someone murdered him and the dogs just found him and were gurading his body.
-He died (spontaneously) from whatever made him sick and have to go home from school. The dogs were trying to drag him to safety out of the roadway and they just punctured his skin a little bit.
This boy’s smiling face haunts me. I have a daughter near his age, and to think of her or any of her friends dying in such a horrific and unnecessary way is grievous. It is enraging to think that there will be people who will see his sweet face and read that dogs were literally eating him… and instead of feeling the normal human emotions of shock, sadness and horror for this boy and his family, they will immediately begin concocting reasons why he must have “deserved it.” They will feel no pity for him and his loved ones, but will be sad that the dogs were killed. They will type out every excuse they can think of as to why dogs attacked this innocent child. They will cry, “the dogs were abused, not raised right, trained to attack, could have been any breed, shouldn’t have to die for what humans do!” They will then vilify the boy or his family, saying “shouldn’t have been alone, probably taunted the dogs, must have done something to cause this!” Some will have a fleeting, unbidden moment of pity and try in vain to temper their comments by adding, “I’m sorry for the boy, but…” Then they’ll look for the cutest pictures they can find of their snuggly, sleeping pit bulls and post them in a pathetic attempt to prove that it can’t be the dogs’ fault that this boy is dead if THEIR dog has never attacked or killed anyone. They will have the most callous and depraved reactions imaginable, all because they want to be able to freely own dangerous animals. And not just own them, but never have to hear anyone even have a different opinion about them! They will do the adult equivalent of a toddler plugging his ears and saying “Na na na, I can’t hear you!”
Sometimes I think the only emotion they might feel when seeing the face of a dead child is ANNOYANCE that they will have to defend their precious pit bulls yet again. It takes an awful lot of “couch hippo” pictures to counter a dead boy, so they better get to it! They might even have to get out a funny hat and take some new photos of their dog to prove that pit bulls never kill anyone.
I am so sorry, Victor’s family. First that your loved one had to die because someone wanted to have their breed of choice. And secondly because there are so many who will react with nothing but idiocy when they should feel compassion.
Well said, Yoder. They will fabricate lies to report to the police. They will fabricate any sophomoric lie, small, medium and big. They fabricate superficial and fundamental lies. They will blame the victim. All this evil thrown at us in Biblesque fashion. “They” is the sum total of all of “normal” society, except for the victims family and few friends and very few advocates. People who dare to buck the current of lies and point to the elephant in the streets and structures of our not-civilized society are the microscopic minority. I am way past advanced fear. I am way past advanced anger and sadness and despair about the risk of severe threat that saturates the physical reality that we have to exist in. I am way past advanced anger and sadness and despair about the extremely painful death and extremely painful disfigurement that helpless victims young and old have to endure at the hands of entrenched overt insanity and overt evil.
Dear God I am sick and angry all at once and can’t even fathom the grief this family is feeling! God be with them. I am grateful that the brothers have been arrested and charged. It should be that way with every death.
Today I heard the KC Animal project talking about the so-called “aggressive” breed restrictions that people have to deal with. Yes, there are aggressive breeds, and these pits are the worst ones!!
I’m an elderly person, who was attacked by 2 pit bulls in MY own back yard. I’ve gone out yo get in my car before only to be surprised by a pitbull. These dogs are dangerous! This 12 year old boy was not at fault in any way. It is so sad this happened, it could have been prevented. My heart goes out to the family, this is a horrible way to die and a horrible memory for the family to have to live with. Oklahoma needs to ban this breed from the state.
Karron, it was terrible that you were attacked, period, but to be attacked in your own back yard is an outrage. People deserve to feel safe on their own property. Thank God you survived the attack. You know from your own experience the fear and pain that poor boy suffered. I hate to contemplate that he was alone, and not a soul was around to help him, and that at a certain point, he knew he was going to die. 12 years old. His anguish was not merely physical. This is so wrong. I hope the dog owners are convicted and do serious prison time.