Fatal Dog Attack in Riverside County
Hill A. Williams Jr., 38, of Rancho Mirage was killed in an apparent Riverside dog attack after his own mastiffs mauled him to death, according to an article in The Desert Sun. Williams, apparently lived alone with his dogs and was found dead in his backyard on March 16, 2009. The dogs that weighed 115 pounds and 90 pounds each were turned over to animal control officials by Williams’ girlfriend and were euthanized. Officials still do not know what triggered this vicious dog attack.
Neighbors told officials that Williams may have been trying to breed the two mastiffs. The Riverside County Department of Animal Services confirmed that neither dog was spayed or neutered and said the behavior of any animal is highly unpredictable when it is focused on mating.
My heart goes out to the family and friends of Hill A. Williams Jr., who was tragically killed in this vicious dog attack. I offer my deepest sympathies to them.
I’m relieved that no one else was hurt or killed by these animals. In such a situation, the attack could easily have been on someone else – a young child who was visiting, a neighbor, someone who came to work for him. This is how dog attacks occur. And it is well established that a pair of dogs or more are more likely to attack than a single animal.
According to the National Canine Research Council, there were 23 dog attack related fatalities in 2008 and 37 in 2007. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) lists pit bulls and rottweilers as the two most dangerous breeds when it comes to dog attacks. However, any dog can become dangerous or vicious at any time. If your dog attacks another person, you could be held liable for any injuries or fatalities caused.
In California a person bitten by a dog sues in state court under California’s Civil Code Section 3342 which states: “The owner of any dog is liable for the damages suffered by any person who is bitten by the dog while in a public place or lawfully in a private place, including the property of the owner of the dog, regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owner’s knowledge of such viciousness.”
If you or a loved one has been injured in a California dog bite incident, then you should consult with an experienced California dog attack lawyer to find out how you can protect your legal rights. Negligent dog owners put their neighbors and community at risk and should be held accountable for their actions.