I absolutely hate off-leash dogs in public. Whether their dog is a beagle, weinerdog, poodle or pit bull, many dog owners just know that their lovey little puppy would never hurt a soul. But dogs are intelligent and complex (and not always predictable) animals. You can’t absolutely know how they’ll react to strange dogs or strange people, and a leash is cheap insurance against the possibility that Fido reverts to his pack or hunting instincts when you’re out in public. Justin Doss (featured in the video above, near the scene of this crime) is living proof of this . . .
He may also help prove the theory that there are no bad dogs, just bad dog owners. Luckily for 74 year-old Nancy Ashworth, she was prepared with a ‘Defense In Depth’ of nonlethal and lethal weaponry when a Doss and his dog both went feral on her. Instead of getting bitten and beaten, she pwned the skateboard punk in his own crib.
The incident happened near Rudy Rada Skateboard Park in Pendleton, Oregon, shown here. According to the Lower Columbia Daily News:
According to police Chief Stuart Roberts, Nancy Ashworth was walking near a skate park when an unleashed dog became aggressive toward her. She used pepper spray to deter the dog, upsetting 23-year-old Justin Doss.
Roberts told the East Oregonian ( http://is.gd/lrJ4a2) that Doss swung his skateboard at Ashworth, striking her in the head. That’s when she pulled out her .38 caliber revolver.
A grand jury indicted Doss this week on charges of [felony] assault, menacing, disorderly conduct and recklessly endangering another person.
The chief says Ashworth has a permit to carry a concealed weapon, and the incident could have been avoided if the dog had been on a leash.
Ms. Ashworth deserves special credit for being prepared with and effectively using a layered defense that responded proportionately to both animal and human predation. She displayed coolness under pressure by pepper-spraying the aggressive dog: this may not be as mall-ninja as shooting it, but OC spray is actually more effective than gunfire at immediately stopping animal attacks.
OC spray isn’t a ‘backup’ weapon to a firearm, but when used (or threatened) properly it can avoid the need for a DGU. Not every threat is a deadly threat, and OC is an effective fight-stopper for situations which do not legally merit the use of deadly force in self-defense.
After pepper-spraying the pooch, Ashworth also displayed admirable restraint when she apparently chose not to put a bullet in Doss’ center mass. On the other hand, maybe she just missed. But she certainly would have been within her rights to shoot him dead when he attacked her with a deadly weapon, and in a common-sense town like Pendleton, Oregon (which I drive through regularly on business) she would never have been charged.
Maybe Doss is glad to be alive and will learn from his lesson. I’m not holding my breath.