Elderly Bryan Co. man killed by neighborhood dogs

By: Kristen Shanahan Email
By: Kristen Shanahan Email

MEAD, OK -- An elderly Bryan County man was killed this afternoon, mauled by dogs in his own front yard.

Officlas say 92-year-old James Hurst was found badly mauled and bleeding in his front yard. The Bryan County Undersheriff says the man was attacked by two dogs that neighbors say had been aggressive in the past. Now, they say they are terrified that this could happen again.

Judy Boone says she was horrified to hear what had happened to her neighbor.

"My friend looked up there and seen his cane and she said, Mr. Hurst, never leaves without his cane it's laying there on the front porch and she run up there and he laying in his yard," Boone said.

Bryan County Undersheriff Kenneth Golden says James Hurst was working in his yard when he was attacked by two Pit Bulls. Golden says of all the dog attacks he has worked, he has never seen one this bad.

"It appears he was chewed and drug around the yard. It wasn't very pretty," Hurst said.

Golden says Hurst suffered extensive injuries to his feet and was taken to MCSO in Durant where he died.

Boone says her heart breaks for her neighbor, but she always worried something like this would happen becuase there are several neighborhood dogs running loose.

"It's terrifying to know that you can't come out on your own front porch or stand in your own yard without being mauled and attacked," Boone said.

She says what scares her the most is that several kids live in the area.
Eleven-year-old Ryan Matlock says he has had an encounter with one of the Pit Bulls before.

"It crawled through a hole in the fence and it got a hold of my leg and I tried to get it off and I kicked it, and I just got on my bike and took off again,"Matlock said.

And he is not the only one who says they have come face to face with the dangerous dogs in the neighborhood.

"Every time we ride our bikes around the corner to the park they always chase us and nip after our feet," Ricquelle Riley and Kylie Matlock said.

Golden says there is a leash law in the town of Mead, but the sheriff's office cannot enforce that law and there is no city police department.

"There are some things that need to be changed, you know, in regards to dogs that are capable of doing a lot of damage," Golden said.

Officials say the dogs have to be deemed vicious and have a proven history of biting and attacking others before any criminal charges can be filed.


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  • by Anonymous on Apr 23, 2012 at 10:41 AM
    Oklahoma already has statutes on the books describing the liabilities and penalties (including fines and jail time) regarding viscious dogs, but they don't seem to be enforced. Don't know why...........
  • by Anonymous on Apr 22, 2012 at 05:40 AM
    everybody wants somebody else to do something! Laws may not be the answer. Cops may not be the answer. We are supposedly a nation that operates under the rule of law. Get some lawmakers willing to make some laws that make sense for people to be ruled by! Panty waste laws prevent law enforcement or citizens to take care of business. Talk about waste of taxpayer money, look at the legal system. Show me a poor lawyer!
  • by Jen on Apr 21, 2012 at 05:52 AM
    Exactly, you managed to hit on what i was trying to say but in alot less words! My problem is that i have no idea how to contact them or even which ones to contact????
  • by wichitatazz Location: wichita on Apr 20, 2012 at 01:51 PM
    think everyone in the neighborhood need to contact city, county commission
    And demand that these dogs be addressed and if they wont guess the neighborhood needs to
    • reply
      by Jen on Apr 21, 2012 at 06:03 AM in reply to wichitatazz
      sometimes its not the dogs that need to be addressed but the owners who are raising them to vicious killers! Its just like raising child. You raise them with love and respect and teach them right from wrong then they show you love and respect in return.Its unacceptable that this happened in the first place!Once again my prayers are with the Hurst family. I dont know the family personally but nobody should EVER have to go through anything like Mr.Hurst went through.
      • reply
        by Anonymous on Apr 24, 2012 at 01:36 PM in reply to Jen
        Darla Napora. Look her up. Then look up all the other pit bull deaths/maiming and see how many times the loved and respected pit bulls respond to their breeding and do what they were specifically bred to do. It isn't to be loving and respectful. Studies show that pit bulls are exceptionally dangerous regardless of the environment.
  • by Anonymous on Apr 20, 2012 at 09:15 AM
    Unfortunately for the gentleman.... "most of the time" just wasn't enough!! I understand that all dogs can be agressive, but certainly there is negligence involved when they were out and not a leash in sight... even then when a pit gets a target in mind even a leash will not help because if you attempt to keep it from the target, you become the target... Sad, horrific death for what seems like a very nice man! NEVER SHOULD HAVE HAPPENED!
  • by Jen Location: Bryan County, O.K on Apr 20, 2012 at 08:51 AM
    My prayers go out to the Hurst family.I know how hard it is to lose a loved one.I don't believe these dogs were at fault though.My question is when are the owners of these animals going to start being punished for how they're raising these animals and what they're teaching them????? If the laws changed to where the owners can be prosecuted and given heavy sentences then maybe we can stop this madness! Also, the law enforcements automatically assume these people are drug addicts, and i think everyone knows what "assume" means!
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Apr 20, 2012 at 02:37 PM in reply to Jen
      ---contact your legislators, Bryan County will not do anything for citizen safety. Reckless Drivers can be prosecuted for Criminal Neglance, and so should owners of dogs that are reckless in controlling their dogs that kill.
      • reply
        by Jen on Apr 21, 2012 at 05:48 AM in reply to
        Exactly! You managed to hit on what i was tryin to put into words but in alot less words! My problem is that i have no idea of how to contact them or which ones to contact???
  • by Anonymous on Apr 19, 2012 at 06:09 PM
    Like your solution. I Don't understand your desire for prosecution without an appropriate law. Any sheriff will put up with bulls--t if there is no appropriate law. If it becomes "legal" that any citizen can shoot any dog that is running loose, then all citizens will share the blame for these incidents. Now, how do you prosecute those who don't act? You can't prosecute without law. The real question is whether laws and prosecution is the answer. Law enforcement officers don't make laws. Lawyers see to it that laws are complicated at best.
  • by ME Location: IN THE MIDDLE on Apr 19, 2012 at 04:45 PM
    I KNOW ALOT OF MEAN,STUPID PEOPLE THAT SHOULD BE WIPED OFF THIS PLANET TOO.THEY ARE RUNNING AT LARGE ALL AROUND US....CAN WE JUST KILL THEM PLEASE.
    • reply
      by You on Apr 20, 2012 at 10:35 AM in reply to ME
      As a Republican I can not condone your suicide. Better for you to suffer in ignorance and remain a reminder to society that sometimes, abortions really ARE in out best interest.
  • by Citizen Location: Durant on Apr 14, 2012 at 07:29 AM
    Solution, shoot the dogs. Prosecute the owners and elect a new sheriff that won't put up with this bulls--t. If dogs roam your neighborhood, terrorizing residents, and you own a gun. Shame on you for not acting.
  • by megan on Apr 11, 2012 at 03:19 PM
    ***read this*** first i want to say this is a horrable tragedy and my heart goes out to mr. Hursts family. I just wanted to let everyone know the owner of one of the dogs ( not both) is not the white trash drug crazed dog fighting monster we all picture when we hear about something like this. She is a 25 year old single mother who is raising a child with major medical problems she goes to work everyday and up until now a well liked member of our littlle community. The dog that is hers she has had since she was fifteen. F.y.I. on the news y'all hear her vicious dogs terroriz the neighborhood and one boy had already been bitten by the beast. Noone has ever had anything to say to the owner in regaurds to this or she would have shot the dog herself (as a parent I would have waiting in her drive that day insisting the dog be put down so shame on you for not protecting your children) and every redneck out here has. .a gun if the dog was a problem and everyone was to scared to confrount the 5'3 / 130lbs. owner they would have thrownn posion over the fence or shot it straight up. They just need to sound good for the camera
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Apr 13, 2012 at 09:37 AM in reply to megan
      ***read this*** first i want to say this is a horrable tragedy and my heart goes out to mr. Hursts family. I'm sure if Mr. Hurst knew these facts he would have nothing but kind words and admiration for her. Knowing her character and circumstances, he probably would not have said or done anything to cause her any additional problems. She has a pen in her yard built to hold these dogs. They were not in the pen but rather were in the yard from which they escaped. This would indicate she knew her dog needed to be securely contained but chose to let them run free. I bet if any officer had told her to contain the dogs, she would have told them to go deal with the low life druggies and leave her sweet dogs alone. They don't hurt anything! If we cannot create animal laws that are simple and efficiently administered, we have a clear case of the tail wagging the dog! Not just her, but if anybody defies the common sense responsibility of pet ownership, no one should be held liable under any law for eliminateing them.
    • reply
      by Need New Sheriff on Apr 18, 2012 at 06:14 AM in reply to megan
      Sorry Megan, I think you missed the point---the dogs should not have been running loose. What ever kind of dog it is. When you own a pet you are responsable 100% for that pets actions, wheather he scatteres the neighbors trash, or kills the neighbor. No excuse for not keeping your animals confined. Criminal Charges should be filed and prosecution to the fullest extent in this case.
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