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Pit bull bites officer, owner charged
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A McMinnville police officer was bitten by a pit bull prompting charges against the dog’s owner for being a convicted felon and owning a vicious animal.
The officer, patrolman Ben Cantrell, was treated at River Park Hospital for a bite injury to his left calf. The dog is being held in quarantine while authorities determine if its rabies shots are up to date. A determination of the animal’s fate will be made at a later date given rules against returning any dog which is considered a “vicious animal” to anyone living in the city limits.
According to the officer, he had stopped at a residence on Vinewood Drive to look into a report of vicious dogs roaming the neighborhood. When he approached the yard where the dog had last been seen, Cantrell said one of three pit bulls, which had a collar and leash around its neck, came up behind him and bit him on the leg.
“The injury resulted in a large open and bleeding bite mark,” Cantrell said in his warrant against the dog owner Jeremy Flores, 21. “I drew my weapon in self-defense but the dog ran away before I could get a shot off.”
Cantrell said Flores’ wife tried to claim the dog belonged to her but he suspected she was covering for her husband who is a convicted felon. Under state law, a felon is not allowed to own a vicious animal.
Flores is on a judicial diversion for drug charges and could see his probation violated as a result of the charge. The diversion means Flores, had he experienced no trouble during his probation, could have had his felony record erased. However, the new charge could jeopardize that agreement.
He is charged with the crime of having a vicious animal while being a convicted felon. His case will go before General Sessions Judge Larry Ross this Tuesday.