Monday, July 18, 2011

Sentencing pushed back for Bay City man whose pit bull mauled 8-year-old

By Cole Waterman, The Bay City Times

A Bay City man whose pit bull attacked an 8-year-old boy earlier this year will have to wait two more days to learn his sentence.

Harry R. McDaniel, 64, was to be sentenced this afternoon by Bay County Circuit Judge Harry P. Gill. Due to McDaniel's attorney, Edward M. Czuprynski, being occupied with an unrelated case, the sentencing has been rescheduled to 8:30 a.m. Wednesday.

The day his trial was to begin in May, McDaniel pleaded guilty to owning a dangerous animal causing serious injury. Though the charge is a four-year felony, its potential penalty is increased to 15 years as McDaniel has three prior felony convictions on his record.

The plea offer McDaniel accepted stipulates he will likely be sentenced to two years of probation. 

The charge stems from a Jan. 4 dog attack on Cameron P. Everette. Cameron was walking in the 300 block of Jennison Street while McDaniel walked his pit bull, Big Boy, on a leash nearby.

Czuprynski has said McDaniel slipped on some ice and fell, prompting Cameron to run toward him, intending to help him up. Big Boy attacked the boy as he neared, biting into his left leg and rendering a wound that required 100 stitches and surgery to mend.

McDaniel fought the dog off, took him to his house and called Bay County Animal Control.

Bay County Prosecutor Kurt C. Asbury has said McDaniel was charged with a felony due to Big Boy having a documented history of viciousness.

Update July 20, 2011 - The following article is by Cole Waterman, The Bay City Times:
 
Owner of pit bull that attacked Bay City boy gets jail time, probation

A Bay City man whose pit bull attacked an 8-year-old boy earlier this year will have to spend a few months in jail before serving nearly two years of probation.
Bay County Circuit Judge Harry P. Gill on Wednesday sentenced Harry R. McDaniel, 64, to 90 days in jail with an additional 180 days deferred until May 6, 2013. McDaniel does not have to report to jail until Monday morning.
Gill also ordered McDaniel to pay $2,490 in restitution and to not possess dogs while on probation.
McDaniel faced up to 15 years in prison when he was charged with owning a dangerous animal causing serious injury. Though the charge is a four-year felony, McDaniel has three prior felony convictions, which ups the penalty to 15 years imprisonment.
McDaniel in May pleaded guilty to the charge.
The evening of Jan. 4, Cameron P. Everett was walking home in the 300 block of Jennison Street. McDaniel was walking his dog, Big Boy, on a leash nearby.
McDaniel reportedly fell on some ice and when Cameron ran over to help him up, the dog broke free and bit into the boy’s left leg. McDaniel regained his footing and fought off the dog, took it to his home and called Bay County Animal Control.
The wound to Cameron’s leg required 100 stitches and surgery to mend.
“This was one of those instances in life no one has control over,” McDaniel’s attorney, Edward M. Czuprynski, said just prior to his client’s sentencing. Czuprynski described McDaniel’s actions as heroic, stating that had his client not punched and choked Big Boy with his leash, the incident could have been much worse.
Czuprynski argued against McDaniel being sent to jail.
“Harry McDaniel at all times on the date in question acted responsibly,” he said. “I don’t see where incarceration will do any good in this particular case.”
Bay County Chief Assistant Prosecutor Nancy E. Borushko said McDaniel has a history of owning dangerous dogs. In 2005, McDaniel was living in Muskegon Heights when dogs in his care got loose and attacked someone, according to court documents read by Borushko.
McDaniel said Wednesday that the dogs in that instance were his roommate’s. Borushko cited court records that indicated McDaniel identified the dogs as his own.
When allowed to speak, McDaniel said he walked Big Boy daily. When he did so, fellow pedestrians would come up and pet the dog, he said.
“I’m sorry this ever happened,” he said. “I’ve been so sick since it happened. I could never see Big Boy doing that.”
Gill said he did not doubt McDaniel’s sincerity and did not believe McDaniel intended the dog to attack anyone. He added that some dogs are overly protective and it was McDaniel’s responsibility to place a muzzle on Big Boy.
Kimberly Nadolny, Cameron’s mother, watched the sentencing from the gallery in Gill’s courtroom but did not offer a victim’s impact statement.
“I wish he wouldn’t have gotten jail time, but I’m happy with it,” she said afterward. “At least he didn’t get years, but only a couple of months. I’m just glad the dog is gone.”
She said her son has completed physical therapy and is good as new. Though Cameron was initially timid of venturing outside in the weeks following the attack, he has overcome his trepidation, she said.

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