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Owner of dog that bit girl to pay fine



Published: Tue, October 24, 2006 @ 12:00 a.m.



A deputy dog warden said the girl's medical bills will be paid by the dog owner.

YOUNGSTOWN -- The man whose pit bull dog police said bit a 13-year-old girl last month pleaded no contest today in municipal court to failure to register the dog and improper confinement.

Charges of having a vicious dog and failure to have insurance were dismissed.

Harold Patterson, 32, of Sherwood Avenue, was fined 200 by Judge Elizabeth A. Kobly on the minor misdemeanor charges and ordered to make restitution of 177 to the dog warden's office for seizure and destruction of the animal. Minor misdemeanors carry fines only, no jail time.

Sean Toohey, deputy dog warden, said he learned that the vicious-dog law was ruled unconstitutional this year and should not have been filed. He said the high court ruled that a dog can't be considered vicious based on breed alone.

Toohey said the girl's medical bills will be submitted to the court and Patterson will be ordered to pay them.

The girl, D'Treal Bennett, was bitten on her ankles and right arm in the 700 block of Sheridan as she walked to catch a school bus. Her mother, Phyllis Galbreath, could not be reached to comment today.

After the attack, Galbreath said her daughter had spent the night at her sister's house on Sheridan. The mother said neighbors pulled the dog off.

Monday night, one of those Sheridan neighbors, Olivia Hudson, received an integrity award from the mayor's task force on crime and violence. Hudson used a baseball bat on the dog.




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