Williamson County, Illinois ACO Saved by Good Samaritan from Possible Drug Dog

By Editor
In Animal Control
May 17th, 2013
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Here’s a classic case of it’s-not-the-dog-it’s-the-owner.  Since the owner claimed to need protection and had prior drug-related issues, it sounds like she may have trained her dog to be a drug dog (that is, a dog trained specifically to alert the owner and/or attack law-enforcement officers coming to raid a drug operation, etc.).  So instead of proposing impotent breed-specific legislation for the millionth time in Illinois, why don’t legislators instead propose legislation to greatly increase the penalties for criminals who train their dogs (of ANY breed) to attack law-enforcement officers?  Just a thought.

From WSIL-TV in downstate Illinois:

An animal control officer is grateful to a good samaritan who stepped in when the officer was mauled by a pit bull on the job.

“I give him full credit for saving my life that day,” said Williamson County Animal Control Officer Ed Barwick. 

Barwick was attacked by a pit bull when responding to a call Sunday. He said he would not have escaped if it wasn’t for a neighbor intervening and shooting the dog.

The images in the video are extremely graphic and may be disturbing to some viewers. A nearby neighbor caught the attack and shooting on camera.

Barwick has more than 20 stitches in his arm, leg and face, but believes his Sunday evening could have been much worse.

“This is a one in a thousand kind of thing,” he said.

The officer was about to head to church, when he was called into work for a dog outside Johnston City he’d dealt with before.

“The dog had chased some children back into their residence, and they was afraid,” said Barwick.

Barwick said the owner, 33-year-old Lee Ann Murray of Johnston City, refused to give up the dog, so he left. But after hearing another complaint, Barkwick returned to find the dog on the porch.

“Without any real warning the dog just come for me,” he said, “He initially got me on the arm and I wrestled him down.”

Pictures show Murray tried to subdue her dog and was bit on her hand. The pit bull then took Barwick to the ground for a second time, latching on to his inner thigh.

Moments later, next door neighbor Randy Lazorchak rans over and shot the dog multiple times, before it lets go and runs off.

“This dog was a very persistent attack,” said Barwick, “I truly believe that I’m standing here able to talk to you because of him. I can’t thank him enough for that.”

Another neighbor, Anthony Kendrick, found the dog in a field, being guarded by Murray. When the dog charged, Kendrick shot it again.

“I emptied three rounds, three inch 20 gauge turkey loads to the dog, which did not stop the dog,” said Kendrick.

It took eight shots to put the dog down.

“It’s unfortunate. Not necessarily the dog’s fault, but the owners,” said Barwick.

Court records show Murray has a history of drug problems, and it’s not the first time she’s been in trouble for having dangerous dogs.

“The owner stated that she would be getting another dog to protect to herself,” said Kendrick.

According to Murray, a pit bull is the only way she had to keep people out of her house…

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