Local man guilty of dog-at-large in pitbull attack case
Aug 14, 2013 at 9:19 AM
A New London woman testified Tuesday a brown pitbull came at her, bit her and knocked her down, causing injuries.
The defendant, Aaron Hyde, 34, of Main Street, New London, countered that the dog that he had been looking after was playing with a neighbor's dog, the victim got in between the two, was tripped and sustained injuries as a result of a fall.
In the end, Judge Eric Weisenburger found Hyde guilty of having a dog at large, a minor misdemeanor, and fined him $150. The judge gave Hyde 30 days to pay the fine.
The man could have paid $85 after receiving the ticket for the minor misdemeanor offense. But instead he opted to take the matter to court.
Tuesday's 30-minute trial included two witnesses for the state. Hyde, who was representing himself, testified on his behalf, but did not call any witnesses.
"Given the evidence, that was the only verdict that the judge could find," Huron County Assistant Prosecutor Richard Woodruff, who was representing the state, said after the trial.
When asked for his reaction, Hyde called the verdict a "f***ing lie" and he also accused the media of lying, using more profanity.
New London Patrolman Kris Pinkerton testified that on July 20, he was dispatched to a salon on East Main Street in the village in reference to a dog bite. There, he found the victim with a towel on her head and leg. He added he noticed injuries on her body and the woman told him a dog had bitten her in the area of Hyde's home.
Pinkerton responded to the home.
"He was very remorseful," the patrolman told the court. He added Hyde told him he was inside the house at the time and didn't see the brown pitbull. Pinkerton also said the defendant told him he was the "keeper of the dog," since the owner is either in jail or prison.
Pinkerton said Hyde's story was mostly consistent with the police report. The exception was at first, Hyde said the pitbull and the neighbor's dog was fighting, and later used the word "playing."
The victim, who lives on Hooker Street in New London, also testified for the state. She said she was walking by Hyde's home when "the dog (came) at me and then he attacked me (and) knocked me down."
She added she was bitten on the right knee and suffered "shoulder burns" and bruises from falling.
The woman said a neighbor boy responded when she hollered for help as the pitbull continued to bark at her. The 12-year-old boy, who also testified for the state Tuesday, came to her aid and chased the pitbull away, she said.
The woman said she was able to walk over to a nearby salon where her daughter works, and an employee called police and an ambulance.
"I was bleeding so bad and all," the woman said.
The boy, a neighbor of Hyde's, said he saw the woman walking on the sidewalk and Baby (the pitbull) bit her. The youngster said he had his own dog, Midnight, on a leash, getting ready to take him for a walk. He added that Midnight and Baby "used to play in the backyard a lot."
The youth further testified that Baby began barking at his dog and bit the victim.
Hyde questioned whether Midnight was on a leash. The defendant also claimed that it wasn't the boy who helped the woman up, but his daughter.
Hyde said his daughter was watching the boy and his family at the time. He was inside cleaning, while his daughter was watching the boy and his family at his home.
"My neighbor's dog entered my yard and provoked my dog and the two of them were fighting," Hyde previously told the Reflector. "I'm in a wheelchair, so I couldn't get out there in time to break it up."
"Dalton was at my house," he said, referring to the boy. Baby and Midnight were "play fighting" in his front yard, the victim got between the two dogs, tripped, fell and sustained injuries.
"You didn't see that happen?" Woodruff asked on cross examination.
Hyde admitted he didn't.