Dog banned from Balto. County accused of another biting incident in neighborhood Residents say Rottweiler roamed free despite order

September 08, 1998|By Larry Carson | Larry Carson,SUN STAFF

Bango was banned from Baltimore County, but he never actually left -- and now he's in more trouble than ever.

Ordered out of the county last year by the county Animal Hearing Board, and again in April by the county Board of Appeals, the big black Rottweiler stayed at his owner's Gwynn Oak home, often escaping to roam the leafy, hilly, dead-end block of Beacon Hill Road and environs.

Now -- in an example of the kind of long-running neighborhood dispute that can turn into a legal and administrative morass -- the dog is accused of attacking and injuring next-door neighbor David M. Stricker as he tried to leave a car in front of his house last month.

Stricker's forearm was bitten. He required surgery, suffered minor nerve damage and missed three weeks of work.

Bango, a young dog with a large head and chest, is caged at the county animal shelter, awaiting a new judgment on his fate under the county's new dangerous-dog law.

But several of Bango's neighbors are furious that after nearly two years of complaints and one year after the board's order, the dog was running free last month and his owner, Thomas G. Scherr, was unpunished.

"The system doesn't work," said Janice Newcomer, who said Bango bit and attacked her several times. "If we did something wrong, who would be in jail?"

All agree that no one enforced the board's order to remove the dog.

Kathleen Harris, a neighbor, said her 7- and 9-year-old children were frightened by the dog one day. "My children came screaming into the house. It was weeks before I could get them to go outside, even with me," she said. Other neighbors also said that Bango has frightened them and is frequently roaming free.

Scherr said he is a victim and not the source of the problem. At the latest Animal Hearing Board session Wednesday, Scherr accused his neighbors of faking injuries and harassing him and his dog.

He said Bango was provoked by Stricker's German shepherd in the back seat of the car, and insisted that the injuries were caused as Stricker got between the fighting dogs, which Stricker strongly denied.

"It's a shame that we as neighbors don't get along," Scherr told the board, adding that he plans to move to Anne Arundel County and will remove Bango if he gets the dog back.

The board is expected to issue a decision within 10 days.

Pub Date: 9/08/98

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