Killing of pit bull sparks controversy

Pit bulls are known as dangerous, unpredictable dogs, so when a San Diego man admitted to shooting one, it sparked a debate.

Lee Pattison, a 24-year-old Navy diver, was on the sidewalk when he said that a pit bull across the street broke loose from his tether and attacked his Husky dog, Bolt. Pattison said that he punched the pit bull several times, during which time it bit him on the thigh. Pattison went inside to get his shotgun and eventually, after hitting the pit bull with the butt of the gun several times, shot and killed the dog.

Pit bulls have a rabid following of people who maintain that they are misunderstood animals. The real issue here, though, is animal control. No matter what type of dog a pet owner may have, they should keep it on a leash or fenced in when outside. It is negligent to let a pet run around, especially when it has the potential to injure another pet or person. The debate about pit bull dogs and their somewhat uncertain and possible propensity to bite, though some seem loving and gentle during other times, will undoubtedly continue as long as these pets are not properly safeguarded to prevent any attack or harm to others, including another animal.

Gun owner charged in accidental shooting death

55-year-old Todd Conrad Francis is being charged with three felony counts: involuntary manslaughter, child endangerment and criminal storage of a firearm.

Francis’ 9-year-old daughter was playing with her neighbor Eric Klyaz in the garage on June 4. They were handling Francis’ 9 mm pistol when it apparently went off, killing Klyaz. At the time, the children were being babysat by the girl’s 14-year-old brother.

Francis surrendered at the police headquarters on Tuesday and was released after posting $100,000 bail. He will be arraigned at 1:30 p.m. on June 25 in San Diego Superior Court.

This is a tragic situation, and our hearts go out to the family of all of those involved.


Man struck, killed by deputy’s patrol car ID’d (Sam Spital)

“On September 20, 2012, the UT News reported a pedestrian was struck and killed by a Deputy Sheriff in pursuit of an alleged drunk driver. It is unclear whether the officer had his front headlights on, but a Sheriff’s spokesman stated the officer did not have his flashing lights on. The Deputy Sheriff had only traveled about 100 yards before striking the pedestrian. The pedestrian’s employer stated she has seen officers leave the parking lot with their headlights off in order that the vehicle they are in pursuit would not notice them, thereby allowing the officer an opportunity to view the driver prior to making a decision to stop the driver. Because it was a dark area of town that the pedestrian was crossing, he obviously did not see the officer’s car nor did the officer see the pedestrian. Why does it take a killing before a City insures the safety of the public by having adequate lighting? Why did the officer not have his patrol car’s flashing lights on and/or use its siren? These are unanswered questions that no doubt will be the subject of a wrongful death claim by the family of the deceased. As a San Diego Criminal Defense lawyer who has defended clients with DUI charges as well as handling thousands of personal injury cases over the past approximate 40 years, this is but another tragedy that clearly could have been prevented and it is not simply hindsight that this is obvious.”

Sam Spital, Criminal Defense Lawyer


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