Reporting Derek Valcourt
SEVERN, Md. (WJZ)—No punishment for the Anne Arundel County man who shot and killed his neighbor’s dog to break up a dog fight. It’s a decision upsetting to many in the Severn neighborhood where it happened.
Derek Valcourt explains why prosecutors say they have decided not to pursue criminal charges.
More than a month after seeing her family pit bull Kayne shot and killed, Bianca Moye is still traumatized.
“He was part of my family,” Moye said. “Honestly, I don’t think that was right what the man did to my dog.”
It was early June when Moye was walking Kayne down the street in her Severn neighborhood. That’s when she says her neighbors’ unleashed pit bull charged at them.
“So I let the leash go by me being scared, and then them two just got to fighting,” Moye said.
Minutes later, the other dog’s owner, Tony Noriega, came charging out of his house with a gun and shot and killed Moye’s dog Kayne. He says he did it to protect his children.
“I feel I did the right thing,” Noriega said. “I feel that was the only option for me to do.”
After reviewing all of the evidence and police reports, prosecutors decided not to file any criminal charges against Noriega. No one from the State Attorney’s Office was available to speak with WJZ on camera.
But in a written statement, prosecutors point to a county law which says a person who kills an animal may not be held liable if at the time the animal is considered to be running at large and attacking another person or another animal.
They say the fact that Moye dropped Kayne’s leash means he was “not in the control of his owner when the fight occurred.”
Therefore, they say, “we could not have gotten around the dog at large issue.”
It all doesn’t sound fair to Moye, her family and friends.
“He should be charged. It’s reckless what he did,” Moye said.
The State Attorney’s Office may not be taking action, but the fight may not be over. Kayne’s family says they are aggressively pursuing this matter and are considering taking the case to civil court.