Saturday, February 24, 2018

‘Luckiest man alive’

Mason survives attack by pitbulls


IN PAIN: Wayne Richardson, who was mauled by two pitbulls in Princes Town, is assisted by his niece Annlene Richardson after he was treated at the San Fernando General Hospital yesterday.

Mark Fraser

A 52-YEAR-old Princes Town man has been warded at hospital after being bitten multiple times by two pitbulls on Wednesday. 

Wayne Richardson, a mason, of Joseph Cooper Trace, St Julien Village, is in serious condition with bites to his hands, arms, legs, face, ears, chest, buttocks, abdomen and back. 

Richardson’s brother, Andy Richarson, said it was nothing short of a miracle that he survived. 

“I went where it happened and there was so much blood on the road and the bushes. He has to be the luckiest man to be alive”, said Andy Richardson. 

The victim’s wife, Carla Gonsalves, said her husband left their home at around 5.15 a.m. to meet someone for a job. 

“He was still in our street when he saw two pitbulls attacking a pothound (mongrel). As he turned, the pitbulls ran after him and throw him down. He said they started to bite him all over, and they dragged him into a bush at the side of the road”, said Gonsalves. 

Andy Richardson said his brother fought with the dogs for at least 45 minutes before he heard a vehicle passing on the road. 

“A van was passing and he managed to come close to the road. The van bounced the dogs, and that was how he got rescued”, said the brother. 

The driver of the van contacted the police, and officers of the Princes Town Police Station and paramedics responded.

Richardson was taken to the Princes Town Health Facility, and later transferred to the San Fernando General Hospital for further treatment. 

Gonsalves said one of the dogs broke its hind legs, while the other had minor injuries. 

She learned from other residents that the dogs belonged to a man of Indian Walk Village. 

“I heard that the man is doing repairs on his property and the dogs were not locked up or tied. Someone said that one of his workmen left the gate open and that was how the dogs ran onto the road,” said Gonsalves. 

“I went to speak to him on Wednesday night and he told me that he had to put one of the dogs to sleep and the other was locked up. He seemed more concerned about the dogs than he was about my husband, who could have been dead today,” she said. 

Gonsalves said: “We want justice for this. He is the sole breadwinner for our family. Two of our four children are in school. At least my husband survived but what if it was a child on the road? These dog owners are very irresponsible and I want to the authorities to do something about it”. 

PC Joint of the Princes Town Police Station is continuing investigations. 

 The Dangerous Dogs Act 2014 was made law on June 1. 

However, owners were given a six-month grace period to comply with the requirements of the act which also include having the dog registered with the Ministry of Local Government; acquiring a licence from the Ministry of Local Government, ensuring one’s property is properly fenced, having the required leash and muzzle when taking the dog into public places and obtaining official training and certification in the handling of Class A dogs.  The legislation separates dogs into two classes - A and B - with pitbulls falling into Class A. 

The act states the owner of a Class A dog holds a policy of insurance with cover­age of not less than $250,000 for each dog, and prohibits these dogs from entering restaurants or establishments where food and beverages are consumed by the public unless the dog is a guide dog. If they do go into public places, they are to be properly muzzled and on a leash. 

Class A dogs must be licensed for a period of two years. The law gives local government the power to take charge of a Class A dog where the owner is unable to meet the requirements of the act.