Sunday, December 7, 2003

Kiowa, Colorado

From AP, December 1, 2003:
Authorities began weighing charges Monday against the owners of three dogs that killed a woman over the weekend in a gruesome rampage that left two other people wounded.

Neighbors said the dogs had been a roaming menace for months in the rolling ranchland near Kiowa, southeast of Denver. A local fire official said residents had even adopted an informal warning system when the pit bulls were loose.

Elbert County Undersheriff Jim Underwood said the animals, which were gunned down by a teenager and sheriff's deputies, had been involved in previous attacks, but declined to elaborate.


The latest attacks began about dawn Sunday when the dogs killed 40-year-old Jennifer Brooke after she went to her horse barn. Ranch partner Bjorn Osmunsen, 24, was wounded by the animals after he went looking for her.

Neighbor Lynn Baker was the next victim. The dogs attacked as he stepped out of his home, jumping on him and going for his throat.

Baker thought he was going to die.

"They were monsters. And they don't run away. They come at you. Even when you are shooting at them," he said in a telephone interview.

His screams for help brought son Cody outside with a shotgun. The teenager fired bird shot at the animals, wounding two and distracting the other dog enough so his father could get inside his pickup truck.

"He knocked two of them down. He's the hero," Baker said.

Baker said he drove his truck closer to the home so he could slip inside and get his own weapon.

"They couldn't see or couldn't walk but the big one was still watching me," said Baker. "I came out and shot the big one twice but it hardly slowed him down."
Unsurprisingly, some news stories about the incident left out the dramatic ending for the pit bulls at the hands of armed civilians. (And here are some more news accounts that talked about the crisis of a shortage of police to handle this--but neglected to mention the role of armed civilians.) Can you imagine that?

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