NC Judge Says Attack By Pit Bulls Not Assault

A North Carolina judge has ruled pit bulls don't fit the state's legal definition of weapons and has dismissed assault charges filed after a 6-year-old's mauling.

The News & Observer of Raleigh reported Thursday that Superior Court Judge Ken Titus dismissed the charges against 23-year-old Anthony Whitfield but urged legislators to change state law.

The case was one of the first in North Carolina to test whether pit bulls are so clearly dangerous that owners are responsible for controlling them as if they were weapons.

Whitfield had been charged with assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury after his two pit bulls attacked the boy, who was forced to spend three days in the hospital recovering from dozens of bites.


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  • by RANDY Location: tn on Jul 6, 2010 at 11:13 AM
    My dog wont hurt anyone. He dont bite. he is friendly. Thats exactly what a pit bull owner said right before it went into attack mode and viciously attacked my mom in eastern NC. As for the possibility of the animal being provoked that lead to the attack on my mon? Witnesses to the attack can testify otherwise. Certain breeds are more dangerous than others and pit bulls are one of those breeds. Instead of making excuses, look at the rising number of attacks. Facts dont lie, owners do!
  • by Anonymous on Jan 24, 2010 at 09:09 PM
    HS and the rest of you: That is ignorant. The dogs in this case were used as deadly weapons.
  • by My name somewhere on Jan 23, 2010 at 07:18 AM
    Look people it is not the BREED it is the owner/trainer/enviroment!!! I have dogs that have never hurt anyone, never acted aggresive. Then I got some not so nice neighbors.These people tormented my dogs (they were in a fence in my yard!!!)they allowed their children to throw stuff at them, beat on the fence, and scream and yell at them. When we asked them to stop they informed us they did not like looking at our dogs. When one of my dogs finally growled at them they called the law. Now let me remind you they are in a fence in my yard and are well taken care of. Now my dogs can't stand to be around people they don't know,loud noises scare them and I think its BS. My child is safe around my dogs!!! When kids go crazy the first thing people want to do is blame the parents is it not the same for animals it is the owner!!!!
  • by Anonymous on Jan 22, 2010 at 03:08 PM
    Pitt bulls are worthless, no matter what! We need to put all of these poverty dogs to sleep.
  • by HS Location: Cary, NC on Jan 22, 2010 at 02:32 PM
    This is one of the few times I have seen a NC judge do the right thing. His interpretation of the law is spot on. A dog is not a deadly weapon. The prosecutor tried to stretch a statute to mean something it was not intended for. Everyone who is pissed about the judges decision should direct their anger towards the prosecutor who could have charged a statute that was a better fit. That being said - it is still very sad that the boy had to go through this because of an aggressive dog.
  • by fred Location: raleigh on Jan 22, 2010 at 01:29 PM
    A pet is essentially one's child/ward/property. If your pet 'commits' a crime, you are liable for damages and/or criminal punishment, just as, if you let your car roll away and it kills someone, you're criminally negligent, right? So how could a judge rule this way?????
  • by Homer Location: NC on Jan 22, 2010 at 10:18 AM
    I hope the 6 year old boy is ok! Any dog can bite or attack. Research shows most bites are from the smaller breed of dogs. To target one breed is ridiculous. There are many breeds that have been documented to kill humans/ other animals. Labs, shepards, ST Benards, retrievers, poodles, and about a dozen other breeds. If a persons dog is known as aggressive then they should be held accountable if that dog causes harm regardless of breed! I have seen pits that was nothing but lap dogs and friendly. I have seen some pits that I would approach with out a gun! The same for small breed dogs. My mother in law had a small mutt that only weighted 5lbs. We would not let our kids near this dog! It tried to bite one of the kids. We told her that the boys would not come back as long as the mutt was there. I guess she knew that the dog would bite , it was gone the next time we went over there!
  • by Anonymous on Jan 22, 2010 at 09:48 AM
    any dog that has been trained to attack should be considered a weapon
  • by pete Location: grifton on Jan 22, 2010 at 08:44 AM
    Just report people who own pit bull's to their insurance(home owners insurance)companies and see how fast their insurance is dropped.this should solve the problem.OH! if they rent the owner of the rental property should take note that they can be sued and that should also solve the problem.
  • by mistie on Jan 22, 2010 at 08:22 AM
    I own 1 pit and just recently got another pit puppy. They are the sweetest dogs and very loving as well as protective. It is in all how you train them to react towards people and other animals. Pit bulls are not dangerous, their owners are dangerous. With the right attention and training they will cause no harm unless threatened just like any other dog.
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