A rash of recent attacks in Oregon has the Medford City Council looking at banning Pit Bulls or requiring that the dogs be sterilized.
In the past three years, more than half of the 89 attacks on people and animals have been by Pit Bulls, according to police statistics.
Medford Police Chief Tim George said the number probably represents only a fraction of the attacks and bites in the area, and he urged the City Council on Thursday to “put more teeth” into local laws to combat the threat posed by dogs such as Pit Bulls, the Mail Tribune reports.
.Chief George said he wants a local ordinance that will prevent attacks rather than existing laws that deal with the situation after the attack.
Pit Bulls — the most menacing type of dog in Medford — also are the breed of choice for drug dealers and have proven to be a threat to police, said Deputy Chief Brett Johnson.
"If we see dogs on drug search warrants, they are Pit Bulls," he said.
The City Council decided to direct a police advisory committee to look at the issue before taking action. The committee will hold public hearings on the issue in the next few months and bring a recommendation to the council by April.
About 20 people, many of them pit bull supporters, attended the meeting as the Council debated a possible dangerous-dog ordinance.
Many councilors said most Pit Bull owners are responsible, and they hoped to find a way to deal with the minority of residents who have dangerous dogs.
Councilor Bob Strosser said he preferred an approach that would create harsher penalties on residents who continue to own attack dogs.
"In a majority of these cases, the irresponsible individuals walk away," he said. If a vicious dog that has attacked someone is euthanized, often the owner just gets another dog to replace it.
Other member indicated they hoped to draft a law that wouldn't single out a particular breed--though Pit Bulls dominated the discussion.
Other cities in the country and many nearby Washington State have banned pit bulls, while others are recommending that Pit Bulls must be sterilized.
VICTIMS WANT PROTECTION
Numerous communities are wrestling with dangerous-dog laws, such as Baker City, after a 5-year-old was killed in a Pit Bull attack in September 2013.
In February 2011, a 9-year-old Central Point boy was severely injured when three Pit Bulls attacked him at his father's home
As the city looks at its options, other groups, including pit bull supporters, are urging the city not to take extreme measures.
Kathleen Olmstead, 63, of Ashland asked the City Council to take action after her Anatolian shepherd, Halee, was attacked in a Medford park in September.
Two pit bulls and another dog charged Halee, wrestling the 90-pound dog to the ground. One ripped at Halee's neck, another at her stomach and a third gnawed on her leg, according to KVAL.
Bystanders broke up the attack by punching and kicking the attacking dogs, which were later euthanized. After $4,000 in veterinarian bills and being confined to a crate for two months, Halee has recovered, though she remains wary.
"I was really scared for her life," Olmstead said.
WILL THE BREED BECOME EXTINCT?
Juston Menteer, a 33-year-old Central Point breeder of pure-bred pit bulls, said he would prefer the city of Medford not pass any laws against dogs, particularly banning a specific breed.
"We see the writing on the wall, that at some point they're trying to make the breed extinct," he said.
Tom Acton, 16, bravely stood up to a group of young drug dealers that were preying on young people in his Cheshire, England neighborhood.
Acton went to the police and informed them that the group was doing deals; unfortunately, when the dealers found out, they started to harass the teenager.
According to reports, Acton became a victim of relentless bullying, physical harassment and horrific rumors as a result of turning in the drug dealers. Eighteen-year-old Thomas Greenwood reportedly assaulted the teenager and threatened his life. Around the same time, angry peers on Facebook started a rumor that Acton tied a girl to a tree and raped her.
“I can no longer walk down the street as everyone calls me a rapist,” said Acton to police following Greenwood’s attack. “I wish I wasn’t here.”
Just days before he was set to appear in court to testify against Greenwood, Acton was found critically injured in his home from self-harm with a razor blade. Three days later, Acton died in the hospital.
Acton’s mother Gaynor is now saying that not enough action was taken by authorities to prevent her son’s death.
“Two weeks ago my son Tom died in tragic circumstances at home,” said Gaynor at a local parish meeting. “What you won't know is that he had given information to police about drug dealers in Poynton. He was bullied, pressured and then threatened. Poynton was not a safe place for Tom. We tried to take the issue to the authorities but were not taken seriously. I came to the council in April for help and you did nothing. I want people suffering what Tom suffered to have the confidence to speak out. Ours is a middle class area and is supposed to be safer than safe yet I believe that means the community is too frightened to speak out when something goes wrong. It's not the image those in authority in Poynton want to portray.”
“When Tom died we had over 200 cards with everyone saying what a good friend he was and how he would help everyone but no one was there to help him in his darkest hours,” continued Gaynor.
Greenwood apparently admitted to attacking Acton, but claims that he knows nothing about the false rape rumors.
A frequently quoted report by the National Drug Intelligence Center (NDIC), a former division of the Justice Department, made exaggerated claims about the activity of Mexican drug cartels in the United States, reported the Washington Post on Sunday.
The crime report was released in 2011, and claimed that Mexican cartels were active in more than 1,000 American cities. A number of prominent news outlets cited this figure, as did Senator John McCain in a speech at an Armed Services Committee meeting on security in the Western Hemisphere.
However, government officials and drug law analysts told the Post that the number is exaggerated due to unsound research methods. The report was based largely on self-reporting rather than documented cases.
Said one Justice Department official, "I heard that they just cold-called people in different towns, as many as they could, and said, 'Do you have any Mexicans involved in drugs?' And they would say, 'Yeah, sure,'"
In more than a dozen cities, police officials expressed surprise that their districts were named as having cartel infiltration. The list included remote areas of Montana, Idaho and Arkansas, where cartel activity seems unlikely.
When confronted with the report, Randy Sobel, chief of police in Middleton, N.H. said “That’s news to me.”
According to Peter Reuter, a University of Maryland professor who once co-directed drug research for the Rand think tank, “They say there are Mexicans operating here and they must be part of a Mexican drug organization … These numbers are mythical, and they keep getting reinforced by the echo chamber.”
Despite the report’s inflated claims, there is no denying that Mexican cartels have their hands in drug distribution in the U.S. An estimated 90 percent of illegal heroin, cocaine, speed and marijuana comes from Mexico, reports the Post.
And increasingly, cartels are hiring U.S. military personnel to commit murders, according to Business Insider. A cartel may pay a serviceman triple their normal monthly salary to take out one hit.
New York police officer Jose Tejada was arrested Wednesday on multiple robbery, drug dealing and weapons charges for his alleged role in providing high-quality NYPD equipment to a gang of crooks that would pose as police officers and rob known drug dealers. Tejada, 45, is also facing charges for letting the crew work out of his Manhattan apartment and participating in the robberies himself.
According to court documents, the robbers would use fake warrants to bust drug traffickers and then relieve them of their stashes of cash, cocaine, ecstasy, marijuana and heroin. It is believed that the group, which numbered at least 22 including Tejada, participated in more than 100 armed robberies in New York City since 2001, CNN reports.
Tejada is looking at a minimum of 17 years in prison if convicted. Ironically enough, that is the same amount of time he has been a member of the NYPD. Prosecutors believe that since he is looking at such a long prison sentence, Tejada is a pretty big flight risk. Authorities are going to argue that Tejada is dangerous and that he should not be allowed to get bail.
"The defendant poses a substantial risk of flight," court documents read. "The defendant has strong family ties to the Dominican Republic, owns property in the Dominican Republic, and has traveled to the Dominican Republic at least ten times in the past ten years."
It is not known if Tejada has retained a lawyer. An arraignment in the case is scheduled for Thursday afternoon
Police may have first become interested in Tejada after his gang of robbers went to the wrong house while attempting to rob a Bronx drug dealer. According to court documents: "The crew mistakenly believed the residents to be drug dealers. In fact, the residents were a family of three, including a teenager, who had no involvement in drug dealing." After the crew departed, the family called 911.