Dogs involved in Grand Junction mauling quarantined; owners ticketed
Sharon Tinsman of Grand Junction, the victim of a vicious dog attack, has been released from St. Mary’s Hospital. Three dogs involved in the incident — all Catahoula-mixed breeds — are impounded by Mesa County until further notice.
The April 7 attack occurred around lunchtime in the area near Genghis Grill on Hwy. 6 and 50, which is a popular Grand Junction shopping district.
The dogs jumped from a blue Dodge truck’s bed and mauled Tinsman, who was at the time “walking east on the sidewalk north of the restaurant,” a news release stated. “ … Several good Samaritans chased the dogs back to the truck, stopping the attack. The dogs jumped from the truck a second time, however, and a Colorado State Patrol officer [CSP Trooper Shane Gosnell] deployed his Taser toward the dogs causing them to retreat.”
Gosnell was also recently in the news for saving the life of a colleague during a Glenwood Canyon shooting in May of 2014.
According to a Mesa County Animal Services case report, Alexander Franklin Rice and Crystal D. Proctor, both of Whitewater and owners of the dogs, were eating in Genghis Grill in the back of the restaurant (by the grill) during the attack. They were unaware of the incident until a Grand Junction Police Department officer alerted them. Though Rice indicated that Tinsman may have provoked the dogs, an officer on site measured the distance from the back of the truck to the curb’s edge where the attack happened; the distance was 47 feet.
“ … The distance of 47 feet from the truck bed where the dogs were left unattended to the spot of the assault would eliminate the possibility of provocation by the victim,” the case report noted.
In the same report, Tinsman confirmed that all three dogs participated in the attack. Injuries described in the case report included multiple bites and tears, including a statement from Tinsman that the dogs “ate” her skin and that she might need skin grafts.
When contacted by The Free Press, Tinsman declined to comment on the attack.
Rice and Proctor could be asked for restitution for the victim’s injuries, and possibly for the cost of city, state and county response personnel’s involvement.
Case reports revealed that both of Rice’s dogs were unvaccinated. Proctor stated in the report that she thought her dog was vaccinated, but she could not provide verification. Rabies vaccinations and animal licensing is required in Mesa County. Dogs are also considered “at large” if they leave an owner’s vehicle unattended.
According to Penny McCarty, director of Mesa County Animal Services, when dealing with dangerous dog violations, animals are held at Mesa County Animal Services until a court order is received changing the sheltering or ownership status.
Rice and Proctor were ticketed for the incident. Rice, owner of two dogs, was cited for having a dog at large, no proof of license, having a dangerous dog, and failure to control. Proctor was cited for having a dog at large, no license, and having a dangerous dog. They are expected for their first court appearances on April 28.
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