Pit bull seriously hurt in machete attack in N. Baltimore

Man charged has history of mental illness

May 12, 2010|By Jill Rosen, The Baltimore Sun

A dog was fighting to live Wednesday after being attacked by a man wielding a machete Tuesday in North Baltimore.

According to police documents, Levar J. Bailey attacked a pit bull/shepherd mix in his neighbor's gated yard at about 6 p.m. Bailey lives several houses down in the 3000 block of Wylie Ave., according to police.

When police arrested Bailey, 33, they said he was yelling, "The dog was trying to bite my daughter," according to charging documents. Bailey was taken to an area hospital for a psychiatric evaluation. He has been known to have a history of mental illness, police said.

Caroline Griffin, chairwoman of Baltimore's Anti-Animal Abuse Task Force, said the pit bull named Okashia sustained extensive injuries. The female dog, not quite 50 pounds, was otherwise well taken care of.

According to police documents, the dog is owned by Shea-Quan Moore-Williams, who was home at the time of the attack. Moore-Williams went outside after hearing the dog yelping, the documents say, to find her bloodied dog and Bailey in the yard with an 18-to-24-inch black machete.

Griffin said Okashia, who is two years old, sustained intense trauma to her face. The machete blows split her nasal passage and shattered her cheekbones. Her blood loss was huge.

Although the dog was immediately taken by animal control to the Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter, she was quickly transferred to the Emergency Veterinary Clinic in Catonsville. The dog was given painkillers overnight and was to receive a surgeon's opinion Wednesday, Griffin said.

"I think her prognosis is uncertain at this point," she said. BARCs officials described the dog's injuries as life-threatening.

The attack is only the most recent case of animal abuse in Baltimore. Last spring, a pit bull puppy, Phoenix, was doused with gasoline and set on fire, eventually having to be put down for her injuries. The much-publicized case spurred public outcry.

With even more cuts proposed to city animal control, Griffin said, there's little hope for change.

"The only silver lining in this is that police responded," she said. "Thankfully, there's a suspect in this case. … Most cases just deteriorate because there just isn't proper resources to investigate."

The city hasn't prosecuted any dog or cat abuse cases since that of Phoenix.

BARCS' Franky Fund is paying for Okashia's emergency vet care. People who would like to contribute to the fund can donate online .

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