Are Pit Bulls A Deadly Weapon? NC Court Case Takes On Dog Attack

Posted on Jan 26, 2010
North Carolina dog bite law states that a dog owner is responsible for the actions of his or her pets, but should pit bulls be considered deadly weapons? A dog attack court case discussed this matter in Raleigh this week, and a Superior Count judge ruled that although North Carolina laws should be made tougher to protect dog bite victims, the specific case at hand was not assault with a deadly weapon.

The dog attack case revolved around 23-year-old Anthony Whitfield, whose two pet pit bulls seriously injured 6-year-old Isaiah Hardy in the spring of 2009. Hardy suffered 42 lacerations and a hospital stay after the two dangerous dogs attack him as he was playing in his yard. Whitfield was charged with felony assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury and faced jail time.

The two pit bulls had killed a cat in the past but had not to the owner’s knowledge ever harmed a human.

Wake County Superior Court judge Ken Titus dismissed the charges saying that the defendant did not intend injury and that the dogs were not used in a deadly manner despite Hardy’s serious injuries. However, Titus did say that North Carolina laws should be changed so that the owners of dangerous pets can be held criminally responsible for their negligence. North Carolina laws require both evidence of negligence and intent to harm, whereas other states often only require one of two points.

The case could go to civil court.

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