Dog Bite Accident Turns Criminal After Victim’s Arms Amputated
Dog bites are truly tragic events, both for the victims and for the dogs and their families. Unfortunately, dog bites are also one of the most common personal injury lawsuits. The question is, when does injury from a dog attack become more than a mistake? When does a dog attack become more than just a liability, but result in criminal charges? A story out of Abbeville County in South Carolina tells the tale of one such incident.
Kyleen Waltman, a mother of three and grandmother, was mauled by three dogs outside a home on Ball Road in Honea Path. Her family said she was walking from a friend’s home to her mother’s house when the attack happened. The Abbeville County Sheriff’s Office said a witness was able to scare the dogs away from the victim to stop them from mauling her further and that the man who found Kyleen had fired a gunshot in the air. Emergency first responders began rendering aid to Kyleen as soon as they arrived on scene. She was seriously injured and had to be airlifted to a medical facility.
Waltman had to have both arms amputated and part of her colon removed after the attack. She may have to have her esophagus removed as well. The dogs have been seized by Abbeville County Animal Control. An investigation into the attack is ongoing.
Kyleen’s friend, Tanya Gilmer, is outspoken in her demand for someone to be held accountable for the attack. However, as is often said: there are no bad dogs, just bad owners. Gilmer was quoted saying “I want justice very much. She did not deserve that and I don’t wanna blame the dogs because they were taught to be that way. She did not deserve this.”
The law agreed, and deputies soon announced that they had arrested Justin Minor, the owner of the dogs. He is charged with the following:
- 1. Animals/ Penalty for Owner of Dangerous Animal Attacks and Injures a Human or Owning, selling, breed, etc. for the purpose (3 counts)
- 2. Animals/ Rabies Control Chapter Violation
- 3. Animals/ Dangerous Animal Not Permitted Beyond Premises Unless Restrained
Minor appeared in bond court on Thursday and was granted a $15,000 surety bond according to Abbeville County Magistrate Court. He was released on bond Thursday afternoon. Pike & Lustig will continue to monitor this story and provide updates as they occur.