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Pit Bull That Killed 3 Dogs Last Week Attacks a Cat, Then a Cop, Before Being Shot

| April 28, 2014

First it was three dogs, then a cat, then a cop. (Bunchofpants/Flickr)

First it was three dogs, then a cat, then a cop. (Bunchofpants/Flickr)

David LaBrie Jr., a Palm Coast resident, is a two-time veteran of the war in Afghanistan and a seven-year veteran of the Ormond Beach Police Department. He survived uninjured through two tours in Afghanistan. His very brief encounter with a pit bull early this morning went less well, and ended with LaBrie sustaining several bites and the dog dead from two gunshots.

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The pit bull, a 5-year-old male pit bull mix called Tank had a short, bleak history of its own.

Last Wednesday (April 23) Tank, escaped through an open gate from a fenced-in backyard on Cypress Circle in Ormond Beach, ran into the adjacent yard, and started attacking three dogs. One of the dogs was immediately killed. Another soon died from its injuries. A third appeared to have survived, though Ormond Beach police today noted that in the end all three dogs had died: the third death was the result of a vet’s decision to put it down.

The attacking pit bull’s owner is 83-year-old June Davisworth. She sustained injuries of her own, including bites and cuts to her hands, as she tried to pry Tank away from the other dogs in that Wednesday attack.

Davisworth was ordered to quarantine Tank for 10 days. But she was allowed to quarantine the dog at her apartment at 6 Cypress Circle “at the discretion of the animal control officer.”

On Monday, the midpoint of the pit’s quarantine, Tank struck again.

Ormond Beach Police responded to a 911 call at 14A Byron Ellinor Drive, just one door down from the yard where the Wednesday attack took place. A pit bull was mauling a cat, the caller reported.

When cops arrived, Davisworth was in the back yard, trying to rescue the cat from Tank’s mouth, and yelling for help. She had managed to hold the dog down with a garden hoe, wrestling with Tank in the bushes. As soon as Tank saw officer LaBrie the pit broke free from the garden hoe and attacked LaBrie, at first attempting to lunge for the officer’s throat.

LaBrie has a couple of Labradors at his Palm Coast home. He was deployed in Afghanistan in 2008 and again in 2010. Tank bit him on the back of the neck and on his forearm, causing injuries that would require medical treatment.

Ormond Beach Police officer Stephen Mills was a couple of steps behind LaBrie. Seeing Labrie under attack, Mills feared for LaBrie’s safety.

LaBruie had managed to wrestle the dog to the ground, but only after getting bitten several times. Mills took out his Glock 40, and as LaBrie tried to pin the dog to the ground—Tank was continuing to try to bite him—shot the dog twice in the head area. Several witnesses saw the incident unfold, including the shooting, and provided statements to police. Two shell casings were recovered from the scene.

The pit bull had not been on a leash when it ran outside, even though, under the terms of the quarantine, it was supposed to be. Davidson had taken it outside so it could relieve itself.

Ormond Police’s Officer Keith Walker, a department spokesman, said that after the Wednesday attacks, officers had initiated the process that could have led to Tank being designated a dangerous dog. Had that happened, Davisworth would then have had to follow a set of guidelines, including likely changing fence heights and other property alterations, in order to keep the dog. If unable to comply, Davisworth would then have had to give up the dog to be euthanized.

Davisworth does not have other dogs.

Pit bulls have been at the center of violent attacks in the past year in Flagler. Last May, a 27-year-old woman was attacked by five pit bulls in the Mondex (or Daytona North) area as she was taking a walk with her 6-year-old daughter. In March, a pit bull mix attacked two young children (ages 3 and 5) in their minivan as they waited for their mother, a volunteer at Second Chance Rescue in Bunnell, to finish some work. The pit returned and mauled the children a second time after their mother had managed to pry it away. The dog has since been euthanized.

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44 Responses for “Pit Bull That Killed 3 Dogs Last Week Attacks a Cat, Then a Cop, Before Being Shot”

  1. David says:

    Great work, animal control. Releasing a rampaging pit bull back to its elderly owner. What could go wrong?!

    • Debbie Bell says:

      Laws need to be changed. Many aco have hands that are tied by old laws.

      Most laws were written before these “kill or die trying” mutants polluted our communities when normal dogs had normal dog social skills.

      Pit bully people are insane. They spend so much time with pits that they learn to accept maimed and dead dogs. They are no different than Michael Vick and others who fight dogs. Maimed and dead dogs are acceptable to all pit bully people.

      They try to defend their sociopathic choice of dog by saying “pits weren’t bred to kill humans but they were bred to kill dogs”… as if that is acceptable.

      To those of us with compassion for others, breeding more expert dog killing dogs is not acceptable!

  2. Max Awesomeness says:

    Animal control laws here are moronic. It’s entirely up to the animal control officer as to whether or not to quarantine the animal, and fines are civil and practically unenforceable. Also, just because a bite occurs and a police officer is called out, doesn’t mean that the attack will end up in the fcso log.

  3. A.S.F. says:

    What is it going to take before people realize that this breed needs extreme precautions to be out in place to protect the public from the damage its jaws (and sometimes aggressive nature) can inflict? This was not an instance of a pitbull , owned by “drug dealers”, which was trained to be anti-social and aggressive. If people want to take their chances with this breed, let them be responsible for its proper handling. Perhaps the only way to make sure this will happen will be if it costs the owners plenty of $$$ through civil action if they are negligent in doing so. You can’t blame the dog for being anything other than what it is. But the owners should be accountable for any serious damage their pet causes to other living things.

  4. Just a thought says:

    The animal control officer should be charged with negligence for leaving a dog known to kill in the care of an 83 year old woman. That’s the crime.

  5. Genie says:

    Tank should have been put down immediately after the attack on the 3 dogs. Very sad.

  6. Nancy N. says:

    I hope the dog’s owner is arrested and charged for the assault on the police officer, which occurred due to her negligence. It was predictable that the dog would harm someone after the previous incident and she failed to exercise basic precautions she’d been ordered to by Animal Control.

  7. lee77 says:

    Davisworth was ordered to quarantine Tank for 10 days. But she was allowed to quarantine the dog at her apartment at 6 Cypress Circle “at the discretion of the animal control officer.”

    Why in the name of all that’s holy would the animal control officer have allowed this woman to quarantine that monster in her apartment? It had already gotten loose and killed three dogs so, obviously she wasn’t capable of controlling the 4-legged demon. If there had been three children in the yard it ran into, the outcome would have been the same.

    Animal control is a totally worthless agency because those in charge have forgotten the primary function of animal control is to “control” dogs for the safety of the public, not take in, feed, shelter and “rehabilitate” dogs for adoption. It’s way past time cities/counties started emphasizing the “control” in animal control and replaced so-called animal control officers with good, old-fashioned dog catchers.

    Additionally, why would any landlord/lady allow residents to keep pit bulls or other large dogs? If this land shark had attacked three children, the person who owns the property and made the decision to allow pit bulls on the premises could (and should) be held liable along with the owner.

  8. m&m says:

    Pit bulls are not a domesticated animal and should be treated as you would a Tiger or Lion who kill people..

  9. Steve Wolfe says:

    If indeed the pit bull is no more predisposed to violence than any other breed, and as I frequently hear they are only mean if trained by their owners, then the penalties for mean pit bull attacks should rise sharply for the owners of such dogs. The owners should suffer the same consequences as if they personally attacked the dog’s victims with a deadly weapon. In the case of the pit bull, if they are trained to attack, they are a very serious weapon indeed. Their bred-in oversized jaw muscles give them super-dog bite strength. They were bred to fight to the death against other breeds of dogs in the pit, thus the name. The pit bull’s advantage is that they were bred to win. It’s novel, perhaps admirable, but deadly as a weapon. Gun owners can render guns safe, and they are responsible for the proper use of their weapons. The mean-trained pit bull has one distinct quality worse than a gun: it can “fire” itself, and it possesses deadly accuracy. Let’s make the law tougher and put some people behind bars.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Dangerous breeds with a clear history of aggressive and deadly behavior needs to be put down.

  11. Linda Hoffman says:

    Please tell me why you did not report the vicious attack by three pitt bulls last week-end ( Saturday, April 19) on a 5 year old boy on North 5th Street in Flagler Beach? If a neighbor had not jumped over the fence to kick the dogs off that child, plus help apply pressure to the many bloody wounds that 5 year old boy would surely have lost his life. I feel we have a right and a need to know these things about our neighborhood.

    • Linda says:

      I’m sure that it is not the duty of this newspaper to report every incident that occurs, or that it is even reported to the paper.
      So very sad. Someone lost their three pets, and another mangled.
      This is a tragedy. But the 87 year old woman is responsible. I don’t give a darn about her age.

  12. Mary Cannady says:

    This is so sad and regrettable. Three innocent dogs and probably the cat were killed because of the pit bull’s owner’s neglect. How hard is it to put a leash on a dog?

  13. Florida Native. says:

    A good pit bull is a dead pit bull. Good riddance. RIP.

  14. ted bundy says:

    ban this breed from our county NOW like miami-dade did years ago..all it takes is a vote!!

    • Blondie says:

      It is all in how they are raised. My dog is a pitt bull and he love people cats other dogs kids he will lick you to death.

  15. buylocal says:

    For those who say Pit Bulls are only dangerous if the owner trains them to be that way, did this eldery women train him to fight? I doubt it.

    • Genie says:

      @ buylocal: We don’t know if she trained him or not. She likely adopted him from a shelter, thereby not knowing his background.

      I know pitt’s who are great family dogs and very loving, and I have seen the damage a not so loving pitt is capable of. This is true of more than one breed. But I do think that people should be held responsible for the damage done by their dogs. This dog should have been taken to animal control instead of being left with the owner.

  16. Tom says:

    Can an elderly woman control a muscular dog on a mission? Not ! I agree with other’s comments regarding Animal Control and the laws. In Seminole County, the ‘officer’ cannot even step on your property without you being present. Pit bulls have an inbred instinct to chase, grab, kill. For a hundred years they have been bred for that purpose. They need training to poop on the grass but they don’t need training to attack to kill. After the first incident, the ‘elderly’ woman should have been fined $10,000 and the dog put down. I was attacked by a Doberman and only the police (threatening my arrest) prevented me from hunting the dog down with my shotgun after I got out of the hospital. Today’s society has no place for dogs proven-to-be-aggressive. The owners need to be seriously jailed/fined and the dogs removed, period.

  17. educated on dogs... says:

    It’s incredible how ignorant most of you are. The media uses the word “pitbull mix” because it gets attention. The majority of the time the dog that they claim to be a pitbull mix does not even have that breed in the mix. The incident were the pit bull mix jumped into the vehicle to bite the mother and child wasn’t a pitbull at all it was a boxer mix. The problem is not the breed the problem is the medias misrepresentation of the pit bull and wanting to get “ratings”.

  18. merese says:

    Animal Control or Animal uncontrol? What if the dog had rabies or killed a child? The owner of an attacking dog should be REQUIRED to pay for quarantine of the dog at the local shelter.. TO PROTECT THE PUBLIC. Nonprofits focused on dangerous dog attacks. Share the links, visit the pages, get involved. The fight to make neighborhoods safe again will continue. It takes a village to raise a child and a village to pass sane laws. All of these organizations started by victims or their parents .

    • Anonymous says:

      The breed should be banned. After each attack by a pit bull, the owner usually swears that their dog has always been sweet and loving. They do not have to be raised to attack, it is inbred in the breed. They are like time bombs, waiting to explode. There are so many wonderful, loving, sweet dags, why take on the responsibility of owning a breed that could maim or kill a child , adult or another loving pet.
      I have collected numerous newspaper articles on just such attacks.
      The fact that the humane society is overloaded with pit bulls or pit bull mixes tells me that their owners are finding out for themselves that this is not a desirable pet.

  19. Outsider says:

    I’m so sick of hearing the bleeding heart animal lovers defend this dog with cliches and falsehoods. The difference between this and other breeds is their tremendous bite power and apparent willingness to use it on a whim. Round them all up for extermination.

    • Sanity says:

      Outsider: I agree entirely, but please don’t call them “animal lovers.” They are mysanthropes obsessed with dogs. Vast majority of them eat animals with no compunction and feed animals to their dogs.

      • Myranya says:

        To be precise, they don’t seem to mind that these dogs kill other pets. What about the *other* three dogs? What about the cat? I’m by no means a vegetarian but I do care about pets, which is exactly why I try to prove pits and similar fighting breeds should not be kept as such.

    • Wayne Webb says:

      Wish I could “like” this a million times.

  20. RHWeir says:

    80+ year old lady, living in an apartment, has vicious pit bull, the pit bull that has killed 3 dogs and is given back to her to be kept on a leash? What’s wrong with this picture? The animal control officer needs to be gone. Regarding not leashing dogs, there is fellow who likes to let his German Shepherds run off the leash up at the intersection of Matanzas Woods Blvd and US1. He usually has 3 to 4 and uses the area as his own personal dog park even though the bike trail runs thru the area. After being chased on several occasions, I gave up on the bike path in that area. People, keep your dogs on leashes. You are responsible.

    • Steve Wolfe says:

      That’s interesting. I intend to use the new Matanzas bike path, and I’m not going to let any dogs stop me.

      BTW, we do have bicycle patrols capable of checking that out.

  21. No more pitbulls says:

    Oh…but he was such a SWEET little puppy – right?

    Cue the legion of misguided pitbull apologists/liars who will say “I have a pitbull and it would never do anything like that – it is my baby – it’s not the breed it is how it is raised…”

    The breed needs to be exterminated

    • normal says:

      yes totally banned. Enough attacks the. Bites and deaths from Pit Bulls are off the charts compared to most every other “normal dog”. This bred is “abnormal” It’s not permissible to own a vicious death trap. An accident waiting to happen. Bye bye Pit Bulls!

  22. buylocal says:

    Genie I know there are some Pit Bulls who have not attacked anyone. Do you think the recurring instances of Pit Bull attacks all involve dogs that are trained to fight? I doubt it.

  23. ryan says:

    Sad to see that another poorly raised pit bull attacked people. I am glad that Flagler Live was practicing responsible journalism by not gifting the dog owner with anonymity, since so many other media outlets do. I can assure you that this dog was raised the wrong way and never socialized. I hope Flagler Live will create a Hall of Shame for bad or irresponsible dog owners with their pictures. A little old school humiliation can go a long way.

  24. Myranya says:

    Did the cat make it?

  25. Of the 4,733 dogs involved in fatal and disfiguring attacks on humans occurring in the U.S. & Canada since September 1982, when I began logging the data, 3,205 (68%) were pit bulls; 550 were Rottweilers; 4,033 (85%) were of related molosser breeds, including pit bulls, Rottweilers, mastiffs, bull mastiffs, boxers, and their mixes. Of the 553 human fatalities, 291 were killed by pit bulls; 86 were killed by Rottweilers; 417 (75%) were killed by molosser breeds. Of the 2,852 people who were disfigured, 1,941 (68%) were disfigured by pit bulls; 321 were disfigured by Rottweilers; 2,417 (84%) were disfigured by molosser breeds. Pit bulls–exclusive of their use in dogfighting–also inflict more than 70 times as many fatal and disfiguring injuries on other pets and livestock as on humans, a pattern unique to the pit bull class. Surveys of dogs offered for sale or adoption indicate that pit bulls and pit mixes are less than 6% of the U.S. dog population; molosser breeds, all combined, are 9%.

  26. jc says:

    That animal should have been put down after the other dogs were killed, Ormond PD, is very luck that animal didn’t kill a child, after the last attack, would have been a big pay out in law suit!

  27. Ralph Willis says:

    Pit Bulls bite statistics are the proof in the pudding and any responsible objective discussion needs to encompass them. It shows the affects of how much damage these dogs do. They are not pets in the normal sense as they were specifically bred to fight to the death. They will not release in an attack as most all other dogs will do. They can and will attack without provocation or warning. They are an accident waiting to happen. Ownership of a dangerous animal such as a pit bull needs to have very specific and special training and take adequate precautions to keep these dogs away from other strange dogs, cats and people.
    My solution is to require a special license, specific owner training certification and insurance for anyone to own a pit bull. Any pit full within four generations of a pure bred would have to be included so that the partial pit bull argument will not be a way to avoid the regulation. I would add a specific Florida Pit Bull tax for any pet store transaction involving one. I would use the funds from all of this to support the vet fees from all of the damage they cause when they attack other animals and the insurance to pay for attacks on people.
    We should recognize this breed for what it is and understand that the typical owner is not a dog whisper.
    Lets move away from the emotional argument that the typical owner of a pit bull that has attacked nearly always takes. Denial and zero self accountability for their dogs actions.
    Time to regulate these dangerous dogs that were in fact breed for the specific purpose of fighting and killing.

    • normal says:

      I’m in full agreement with Merritt and Ralph based on the numbers of attacks specific to this breed time to take action enough is enough.

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