I’d like to dissect another fatal shooting that occurred in my area earlier this year. This situation had a different, arguably better, outcome than the Miller v. Mulhall incident in Flagler Beach.
Here are the cast of characters and the particulars:
- Willie Chester. Dog owner.
- Dan Daley. Neighbor to Chester and complainant. Lives 2 houses away from Chester.
- Upon hearing Chester’s dogs bark, Daley walked to Chester’s residence and requested that Chester quiet his dogs.
- After making that request, Daley walked away.
- As Daley was walking away, Chester attacked Daley from behind and began “beating on him” according to eye witnesses.
- Daley yelled for help and the struggle continued.
- Daley was seriously injured in the assault.
- Daley drew a .380 semi-automatic pistol and shot Chester dead, ending the assault.
- Original news article: http://www.ocala.com/article/20120204/ARTICLES/120209861?p=2&tc=pg
- Follow up news article, Daley not charged: http://www.ocala.com/article/20120210/articles/120219986?p=2&tc=pg
Note that eye-witnesses corroborate the story. Daley was clearly assaulted in the street, from behind, by an enraged Chester. Daley’s actions were protected by Florida’s “stand your ground” laws in that you are not required to turn your back to a violent attacker. It was unlikely that Daley would have been able to turn or flee in any case. If Daley had not been “packing” he would be dead. Would that have been a desirable outcome?
I am also contemplating the point that Daley had ALREADY been assaulted by Chester due to the fact that Chester had been raising the noise level in Daley’s home without permission.
Gun control and self-defense issues aside, this case as well as Miller vs. Mulhall demonstrate that complaining to anyone about their dog face to face is a grave mistake that can have deadly consequences. Unfortunately, the “protocol” in many places is to demand that you “work things out” with the dog owner before authorities will take any action. If that is the case in your jurisdiction, print off the above news article as well as the link to the Mulhall murder and quote those to your authorities. Tell them you’ll be glad to visit the dog owner in person WITH a police officer in attendance.
I again ask the question: What drove Chester into such a total rage about the complaint? Even if Daley was making a frivolous complaint, how difficult would it have been for Chester to simply tell Daley to get lost? Again, I believe that Daley had challenged Chester’s status as dog owner and all of the empowerments that go with it: “How DARE you ask me to not create endless noise pollution! Adapt to suit me, or die!”. Chester thought that his special protections included attacking anyone who spoke out against his dog.
I'd like to dissect some of the original article comments. One commenter had an out of control Akita that barked incessantly but wrote it off to “dogs will be dogs”. They also said that they “don’t let it bother them”. How extraordinarily civil of them to only commit crimes that they LIKE to commit, vs. crimes that they don't like committing! I guess it would be REALLY bad if the offense actually offended the offender!
So, I suppose we should be ALL forced to adapt to THEIR lifestyle choice to harbor a noxious pet? The fact that THEY are not bothered by THEIR own behavior or the actions of fellow sociopaths just makes everything A-OK? Well, Golly Gee! I guess the entire community environment only exists for THEM to destroy! These people are SO impossibly stupid they are not even funny. They insult the intelligence of everyone down to the level of plant life with their mindless drivel. They are so impossibly selfish and stupid they are not even worth debating.
As I pointed out in excuse #10: They claim they have no control over their dog’s vocalizations but indeed there is PLENTY they can do: They can affix an anti-bark collar, they can house the dog indoors, they can have the dog surgically debarked OR they can simply choose to NOT have a dog in the first place! The vast majority of these people have to true interest in owning a dog. These excuses insult our intelligence. CONTROL YOUR DOG.
Back to the original point, why is approaching any of these miscreants such a dangerous proposition? For the simple reason that creating unlimited useless noise pollution strictly for its own sake is by definition a hostile, aggressive, anti-social act, and only hostile, aggressive, anti social individuals commit these acts. It would logically follow that anyone who would do those things might be expected to behave violently with little or no provocation.
DON’T complain to your neighbors face about their dog. Call them or send a certified letter if need be, but avoid the face to face.