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Man ‘Sics’ Pit Bulls on Police Officers

The dogs didn’t attack, but Lakewood residents now face charges.

When police responded to an Elmwood Avenue home for a report of noise in the early morning of April 12, a Lakewood man ordered his two pit bulls to attack the police officers.

But the dogs didn’t attack, and the man was arrested. 

David Wright, of 1412 Elmwood Avenue, was charged with disorderly conduct, aggravated menacing and keeping a vicious or dangerous dog.

He was found guilty of keeping a vicious dog in  on April 13.

chief Timothy Malley said that the officers weren’t injured during the incident.

“Officers told residents to turn down TV which they refused to do, (then ordered) the officers to leave or their two pit bulls would be released on them,” he said, adding that two others in the home also face charges.

Just days before the incident, animal control officers determined that Wright owned pit bulls. A hearing was set for May, said Lakewood Law Director Kevin Butler.

But that turned out to be unnecessary, because Wright was found guilty April 13 of harboring a dangerous/vicious animal stemming from the April 12 incident.

When officers returned to Wright’s home, they also found two pit bull puppies. All four of the animals were taken to Wright’s mother’s house in Bay Village.

Peter Grossetti April 17, 2012 at 11:03 AM
"the dogs didn’t attack, and the man was arrested." Sounds like the police arrested the TRUE vicious/dangerous animal!
Evan Hammersmith April 17, 2012 at 02:25 PM
what we have here are viscious pit bulls that turned their owners into viscious people. charge them all with felonious assault. ha.
Peter Grossetti April 17, 2012 at 02:40 PM
Evan - I don't follow your logic. The dogs did not attack ... but you still label THEM vicious?
Steve April 17, 2012 at 04:59 PM
@Evan. This is the second time I disagree with you in just a few days. Unless I am reading it wrong(not), there were no vicious pitbulls, only vicious owners, which is almost aways the case. C'mon Evan, even You could do better than this, quit blaming the dogs and READ what is in front of you, no between the lines or rewriting the article. The Ambassador hath spoken.
Evan Hammersmith April 17, 2012 at 05:02 PM
geez. I was totally being sarcastic. lighten up! wasn't that obvious?
Tim Torrence April 17, 2012 at 05:05 PM
This just proves dogs are smarter than people. "Hmmm, me attack police. Me get shot. Screw that."
jason brown April 17, 2012 at 05:24 PM
ok..first..the dogs didnt attack..no harm..no foul..second..can they prove the dogs are pitbulls..probally not..third..its sad that some people..evan..still call these dogs vicious..it was proved time and time again that the owners are the vicious ones!!any time ou want a pit bull education lesson evan you just simply hit me up and i will come school you on these dogs!!
Chris April 17, 2012 at 05:36 PM
I met some pits at the Badges for Bullies benefit this past weekend. They were a part of the fighting ring that Cleveland police busted. These dogs had scars on them from their past lives.. and were in a party center with loud music, hundreds of people wagging their tails and licking faces. I don't really know any people that are as resilient as that. I hope they all get good homes soon.. and I wish Lakewood would change their (in my opinion) stupid law.
Steve April 17, 2012 at 05:38 PM
Not really, you condemned both the dogs and the owners, when it should have been an either or. But I am glad your being saccastic, and no harm done by the dogs...
Evan Hammersmith April 17, 2012 at 05:42 PM
HELLOOOOOOO. are you people brain dead? I posted a sarcastic comment about dogs making people viscious (obviously absurd), and you take me seriously! Even after I put "ha" at the end of my comment. then i post a second comment saying it was a sarcastic comment, and you're still taking it serious!! get a clue already. maybe this will appease you: For the record, I dont believe pit bulls to be necessarily dangerous. Dogs are dogs unless you train them to be viscious. Should PB's be banned? I dont care one way or another. I don't own a dog, and I don't plan to. If you tell your dog to attack a police officer, that constitutes a crime. duh!
Steve April 17, 2012 at 05:47 PM
@Chris, Amen to that, I was turned away (sad) because it was too crowded (happy) I hear everyone including the dogs had a great time. Lakewood's ban will fall sooner than later, after all they have no real proof that ALL pit's are viscous, or even Pits at all. It's too bad our city council wasn't in attendance. They could have really learned and educated themselves on their dog ban. Glad your with us on this one. Thanks...
jason brown April 17, 2012 at 05:59 PM
@evan no one is brain dead....until you are in the position that pit bull owners are in..u should really keep the sarcasm to your self!!this is a serious issue!!you dont own a dog or plan on owning one...and you should care if pit bulls are banned because it affects your city..smh...u wanna pay higher taxes to enforce this senseless ban??this is a war i have been fighting for 4 years now!!people like you who have the slightest idea about these things are the ones who dont care either way..when the fact is YOU SHOULD!!!
Evan Hammersmith April 17, 2012 at 06:14 PM
I can see that you and steve are emotional about this topic. I'm not, but I'll bite on the subject anyway (pun intended). I realize you and steve believe that there's lots of people who won't move to Lakewood due to the PB ban. Also im assuming you believe that the police are receiving hundreds of calls per year for reports of unlawful PB's residing in lakewood. I don't know either of these to be true. My tax dollars would in fact be affected if: 1. nobody wanted to move to Lakewood except PB owners to pay Lakewood taxes. 2. Cops have to work OT to respond to PB attack calls. Since I dont believe 1 or 2 to be true, this isnt a tax issue. As earlier stated, I'm not against PB's. I honestly don't care. I'm not against your fight against the ban. Good luck to your efforts. Dont be mad at me for not caring. I have other cares in my life that I find more important. Just the same as you find PB bans of utmost importance...
jason brown April 17, 2012 at 07:37 PM
you are right its a passion..but even if u think it wont affect taxes ..your wrong..where will they get this money to enforce it??and the police do receive hundreds of bogus calls about pits!!!this is a issue that dog owners and non dog owners should be concerned about!!our city gov does alot behind its citizens backs..city counsel runs the city not the mayor..do a little research ..the city we live in is being ran by narrow minded people..i hope u know that..so what u r saying is that its ok to profile people and dogs...when our city is supposed to be diversified...the city ccounsel pass bills every metting with out the residents knowledge..be active and see for your self..u will be surprised!!
Kristi April 17, 2012 at 07:41 PM
I understood what you were saying, Evan. Us "pit bull people" just get a little defensive sometimes. We've had to defend our dogs for so long, it's just a habit!
jason brown April 17, 2012 at 07:43 PM
well put!!!
Kristi April 17, 2012 at 07:46 PM
Evan: I know for a fact that the City has paid settlements and legal fees since the ban was enacted in 2008? As with all cities, Lakewood has a budget that accounts for these things, but the money certainly doesn't come from their own pockets. It comes from the City budget. Where do you think the money comes from to fulfill the budget? It comes from taxpayers. So, whether it's no new residents, OT for cops, or litigation costs, taxpayers are paying for the ban.
Kristi April 17, 2012 at 07:49 PM
I'm honestly not picking on you, Evan. I know you're not necessarily against pit bulls, but I want to add one more thing. I was deeply involved in 2008 when Council was "thinking about" passing the ban. I can tell you in no uncertain terms that 99% of the people who spoke out, spoke out against it. Despite this fact, Council passed it. The only logical conclusion is that Council had their own agenda - their own reasons for wanting the ban passed. Regardless, they did not care about what residents wanted. If you don't really care about the ban, I hope you at least care that City Council - who were elected by the residents - seem to be working their own agendas with little to no concern about what the residents really want. That is scary.
Kristi April 17, 2012 at 07:50 PM
That made me giggle, Tim.
Hol April 17, 2012 at 08:01 PM
It is my opinion that dogs turn out to be what they are trained to be. I believe any dog can be trained to be vicious, or kind. It all depends on the owners and the care they provide to that animal. The dogs are just the victims. I wish people would take responsibility for the actions they take!
Kristi April 17, 2012 at 08:06 PM
I believe that all dogs are born sweet, people loving, loyal little creatures. It's only when the are unfortunate enough to fall into the wrong hands that they become fearful, angry, aggressive. My dog - the sweetest pit bull you could ever meet - used to be in the hands of the wrong people. When rescued, she was emaciated, sick with pneumonia, had a broken and untreated elbow, had just given birth, covered in feces and urine, and likely had never, ever been allowed out of her way too small crate. If not rescued, she would have either starved to death or died from untreated pneumonia. She could have very understandably become so fearful of people as to become aggressive. But she's not. She's so gentle, kind, loving. She was born that way and no matter what those bastards did to her, she wasn't going to let them turn her into something else. Gosh I love my dog!
Evan Hammersmith April 17, 2012 at 08:08 PM
Kristi, I do hear what you're saying. I try to follow what city council is doing, but only when it results in a news article. I dont take the time to read meeting minutes. I dont agree with council working on banning smoking at parks. I dont smoke, but I see this sort of legislation as nothing more than making themselves appear useful. Politicians need to focus on the major issues. While you love PB's, I dont consider a ban or no ban a major issue. It simply doesnt effect all that many people. Keeping our city safe, providing a business friendly climate, maintaining infrastructure, and providing good schools (all at responsible costs to taxpayers) are my number one goals. I wont defend council for passing silly legislation (like park smoking bans), but I also think residents expect council members to go door to door getting personal permission for items they pass. There's a responsible middle ground for them, and if they did as you said in 2008, I'm on your side. I'll have to take your word for it. I wasnt there in 2008.
Steve April 17, 2012 at 08:17 PM
That IS exactly how it happend in 2008, as I was here in Lakewood, since 1950. They listened to no one except for 1 squeeky wheel, while 100's were against any so called ban. My grandmother used to say it was busybody work, no substance, look what I just did, impressive huh!!!
Bosco Gauthier April 18, 2012 at 03:43 PM
I thankfully don't live in Lakewood. As I have a presa canario which is one of their two banned breeds. Lakewood needs to get a clue. Any dog, even a lil pug or something like that can ve vicious if its trained that way. Don't blame the breeds, blame the stupid owners and lock em u for making their dogs that way. I've had had a pit and a Sheppard in the past too. All big babies that think they we lap dogs. Now I have a presa whom everyone loves because he's very friendly and affectionate. Yet he's frowned upon because of what some owners made them into fighters. For those of you don't know. A presa canario is a type of mastiff. So if I had any other breed of mastiff it would be okay. Shaking my head at society. Its not the dogs fault they were brought up by negligent owners.
Sandy Smith April 18, 2012 at 04:42 PM
As an adopter of one of the 27 dogs honored at the Badges for Bullies benefit, I can attest to the fact that even "training" to be a "vicious" dog doesn't necessarily create a reactive or aggressive dog. My dog, Bonzai, has scars all over his body - some are very, very deep - and yet he loves other dogs and has never met a person he didn't love. He was raised in a fighting environment, was forced to be a bait dog (we know this because his incisor teeth have been filed down to rotten nubs to keep him from harming the fighting dogs, which are worth money and can't be injured until they are in the ring and bets have been placed) in a dogfighting ring, was emaciated, covered in sores, suffers from a bloodborne disease primarily found in pit bulls used in fighting rings, and was kept locked in a cage in a basement for probably his entire life. No one under any circumstances would meet him and consider him vicious; in fact, a friend who's a firefighter met him and told all of his buddies what a great dog Bonzai is despite evidence of horrible treatment. So, in many cases (the Vick dogs are another example), even training the dogs to be fighters or cruel treatment by abusers cannot overcome the basic affectionate nature of these dogs and make them vicious. Bonzai does not have a vicious bone in his body.
Steve April 18, 2012 at 04:42 PM
Ok, I have to throw this one out there. He was under surveillance, police came to door for noise, he told police to leave or he would sic his dogs on them. Next day he is found guilty of harboring viscous dogs, next day? Why did they not charge him with assualt on an officer with a deadly weapon? Were they in the house, or outside? I think there is way more to this than LPD is saying. Colin McEwen, how about digging a little deeper on this one, as it doesn't make any sense to me, as far as the charges go, or their actions. Thanks. Comments anyone?
Jennifer Mayes April 18, 2012 at 10:41 PM
I can tell you as a resident of westpark, literally about 200ft from the lakewood boarder. I have to go all the way to Parma to go to pet supplies plus even though there's one right down the street in Lakewood because of the ban. I also use to frequent many restaurants with patios in lakewood with my dog. They obviously don't get my business anymore either. Not very business friendly. How many ppl say that they shop in Lakewood just because there is a BSL law? I'm pretty sure no one.
wright22 July 26, 2012 at 05:03 AM
This was my brothers case, and his dogs were in no way viscious. The cops had barged into his house without knocking trying to catch him with these dogs. He ordered the police officers to leave his house. They wouldn't leave. My brother told the cops that he was going to put his dogs away and the cop slammed him up against the wall and said that he said that, and took the dogs away and threatened to put them down. I saved the dogs, and they are now in my hands. My brother loves his dogs and they were all rescues that he saved before they were going to be put down.

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