2020 Fatal Pit Bull Attack: Demi Witherspoon

March 2020, Portsmouth, VA
Demi Witherspoon, 2
Fatal pit bull attack
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Portsmouth, VA – A young child is dead after being attacked by a family pit bull in Portsmouth. On Monday, police were dispatched to a home in the 5600 block of Darby Close at 1:53 pm, according to Misty Holley with the Portsmouth Police Department. When officers and paramedics arrived, they found the 2-year old suffering life-threatening injuries. -DogsBite.org

Medics rushed the child to a local hospital, where the child later died. Detectives with Portsmouth’s Major Crimes Unit are actively investigating the case with the assistance of Animal Control. While authorities cannot comment on whether charges are pending or not due to the ongoing investigation, they say the family is cooperating. – WTKR

Demi Witherspoon

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2020 Fatal Pit Bull Attack: Lee Becham

February 2020, Crawford County, GA
Lee Becham, 76
Fatal attack involving pit bulls
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Crawford County, GA – Crawford County Sheriff Lewis Walker confirmed that a 76-year old man was found unresponsive in his own yard in the 1900 block of Marshall Mill Road on February 23 at about 5:08 pm. Deputy Coroner Kenneth Winslett pronounced Lee Alvin Becham dead at the scene. There were “signs of bite marks” on his body. Coroner Sheldon Mattox later confirmed that Becham had severe dog bite marks on both of his extremities. – DogsBite.org

Samuel Arthur Brown, 55, and Angel Ann Brown, 52, were arrested on involuntary manslaughter charges after Lee Alvin Becham was believed to be killed by three dogs owned by the Browns, according to a release from Sheriff Lewis Walker. The three dogs suspected in the attack were removed from the Browns’ care. Walker said that it was a pair of pit bulls and a Labrador retriever mix.

Lee Becham

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2020 Fatal Pit Bull Attack: Geraldine Hamlin

February 2020, Caddo Parish, LA
Geraldine Hamlin, 64
Fatal pit bull attack
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Shreveport, LA – On Friday night, a Shreveport news station reported that a 64-year old woman died after being attacked by two family pit bulls in her home. The attack occurred Thursday evening at her residence in the 2900 block of 7th Street in the MLK neighborhood. According to Shreveport police, the homeowner’s son came home to find his pit bulls standing over his mother. – DogsBite.org

The victim has been identified as 64-year-old Geraldine Hamlin. Shreveport Police Corporal Angie Willhite says the woman shared a home with her son and the dogs. “Her son had been gone and when he arrived back at the house he found his mother with multiple dog bite injuries to her arms,” said Willhite. – LA Radio Network

Geraldine Hamlin

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2020 Fatal Pit Bull Attack: Devin White

February 2020, Will County, IL
Devin White, 25
Fatal pit bull attack
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Plainfield, IL – A 25-year old man has died after a male pit bull attacked four people on Saturday. The Cook County Medical Examiner identified the man as Devin White of Plainfield, a resident of the 2000 block of Mystic Drive. White was pronounced dead at 8:30 pm Monday at Loyola Hospital in Maywood. Three other victims of the attack, a 52-year-old woman, 25-year-old woman and 19-year-old man, survived with non-life-threatening injuries, according to Plainfield police. – DogsBite.org

His cousin expressed disbelief at the attack. “I have been around the dog a few times and it never gave the indication it was vicious. We trusted it around our small kids,” Samantha Costilla said. “My cousins and I, we all have kids under five and the dog would play and the kids would play around him. We never thought it was a vicious animal that we had to protect our family from.” – ABC 7 Chicago

Devin White fatal pit bull attack

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2020 Fatal Pit Bull Attack: Sterling Ver Meer

February 2020, San Bernardino County, CA
Sterling Ver Meer, 5
Fatal pit bull attack
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Oro Grande, CA – A 5-year old boy is dead after being attacked by a family pit bull, according to San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department officials. The attack occurred just before 3:00 pm in the 15100 block of Portland Street. An adult was watching the child when the attack occurred. The adult witnessed the attack as it was happening and called 911. News footage shows animal control officers leading a dark brown male pit bull from the home and hoisting it into a truck. – DogsBite.org

Police said Vermeer was at home with an adult family member and the dog when the attack occurred shortly before 3 p.m. The family who lives at the home said they have had the 12-year-old pit bull since it was a puppy and trusted it around children. For unknown reasons, the dog attacked the child, severely injuring and ultimately killing him. “I was trying to help,” a cousin of the victim said. “I tried to get the dog and everything, but it was too late.” – CBS Los Angeles

Sterling Ver Meer

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2020 Fatal Pit Bull Attack: Harvey Harmon

January 2020, Attala County, MS
Harvey Harmon, 76
Fatal pit bull attack
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Attala County, MS – A man is dead after being mauled to death by a pack of dogs, Attala County Sheriff Tim Nail confirmed today. The attack occurred last Thursday at a home on Highway 14 West, in the Palestine community near Kosciusko. Four dogs were involved in the deadly attack, according to Nail, and were at the scene when deputies arrived. Two dogs belonged to a relative of Harmon, who also lived with him. The other two dogs were strays known to stay in the area. – DogsBite.org

Harvey J. Harmon, 76, was at his home on Mississippi 14 W in the Palestine community when he was attacked in his front yard, said Attala County Coroner Sam Bell. The incident occurred around 10 a.m. last Thursday. Harmon appeared to be have been dragged from his wheelchair by the four dogs, Bell said. Harmon died on scene of “blunt force trauma due to a pit bull attack.” – Clarion Ledger

Harvey Harmon

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2020 Fatal Pit Bull Attack: Julian Connell

January 2020, Tippecanoe County, IN
Julian Connell, < 1
Fatal pit bull attack
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Lafayette, IN – A one-month old baby is dead after being mauled by a family pit bull-mix, Lafayette police said Monday. The attack occurred at 1901 Greenbush Street at about 11:30 am Saturday. Police were dispatched to the residence after the infant’s teenage brother called 911. The pit bull-mix had been “fighting” with a beagle-mix in the home prior to attacking and killing the infant, police said. – DogsBite.org

The first officer to arrive at the home found the pit-mix dog standing over the severely injured infant. “He could see that the baby had some pretty severe injuries and he believed the infant needed immediate lifesaving aid,” Gard said. “Unfortunately, in order to render aid to the infant, the officer did fire his handgun one time, striking the dog, killing it.” Julian was taken to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead. – WTHR

Julian Connell killed by pit bull-mix

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2020 Fatal Pit Bull Attack: Donald Abner

January 2020, Rockcastle County, KY
Donald Abner, 55
Fatal Pit Bull Attack
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Berea, KY – A man is dead after being attacked by a dog in northern Rockcastle County, near Pug Lane, according to authorities. Rockcastle County Coroner Marvin Owens was called to 45 Pug Lane early Friday morning after a reported dog attack. Kentucky State Police troopers found an aggressive pit bull near a truck at the home. They shot and killed the dog. – DogsBite.org
Melissa D. Wolke, 38, was arrested and charged with murder in connection to the death of Donald Abner. Police say that Wolke admitted to being in the residence and going “redneck” on the victim. The witness says that Wolke was punching the victim, giving commands to a large dog to get it to attack the man. – WKYT

Charged with murder of Donald Abner

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