Thursday, January 24, 2008

Dog's attack on baby called 'freakish accident'

Dog's attack on baby called 'freakish accident'

By Valarie Honeycutt Spears

Jeff Mozer said the Jack Russell terrier that attacked and killed his sleeping 6-week-old nephew Friday was a longtime family pet he trusted around his own baby and other babies in the family.

And Justin Mozer and Layne Crim were doting parents, he said, who took safety precautions and "tried to do everything just right," Jeff Mozer said.

"This is the most freakish accident. It was a dog you would never think would harm anyone at all. And my brother was just really proud of the baby, it was his first," Jeff Mozer said.

According to Jeff Mozer, the baby Justin Mozer, named after his father, was sleeping in the middle of a king-size bed about 3:15 p.m. Friday when, without warning, the Jack Russell terrier attacked and killed him.

The Fayette County Coroner's office said Saturday that the cause of the accidental death was "traumatic asphyxia and blood loss due to dog attack."

Lexington police Lt. John Gensheimer said Saturday that at this point there was no reason to file charges. Though police were continuing to conduct interviews, Gensheimer said, there was no evidence to suggest that the death was anything but an accident. The baby was alone in the room, and there were no witnesses to the attack.

The baby's mother, whom Mozer identified as Layne Crim, was in another room when the attack occurred.

Layne Crim's husband died in January 2007, leaving her with two sons, about 1 and 3.

Jeff Mozer said his brother had stepped in to become a loving father to those boys, too.

"I'm very proud of him," Jeff Mozer said.

Mozer said he spent time with his nephew last week. "I held him and kissed him. He was beautiful."

Justin Mozer, 28, was at work at a pool company when the attack occurred, Jeff Mozer said.

The baby had a crib, Jeff Mozer said, but on Friday afternoon he was napping on the bed.

Jeff Mozer said Justin Mozer had owned the Jack Russell for six or seven years. "The dog has been around my baby and other babies in the family. There has never been any reason for alarm."

Jeff Mozer said his brother bought the family home at Seven Pines Drive, near Versailles Road and Alexandria Drive, about a year ago and was remodeling it.

The former president of The Lane neighborhood association, Pete Hagan, said that in September 2007, the association sent Justin Mozer a letter complaining about the behavior of pit bulls kept in the back yard. The letter, which Hagan e-mailed to the Herald-Leader on Saturday, said pit bulls routinely got out of the yard and frightened neighbors. But Hagan said he had no problems with the Jack Russell terrier, and he had noticed no problems with the pit bulls since November.

"We extend our condolences to the Mozers," Hagan said.

Justin Mozer kept a pit bull in the back yard for protection, Jeff Mozer said, but that had nothing to do with the attack on the baby.

The two dogs were taken by Fayette County Animal Control at the owner's request. The dogs' fate was not known last night. Officials did not return telephone calls.

Jeff Mozer said his brother and the baby's mother are inconsolable, as is the rest of the family.

"We will never be the same because of it."


NOTE by Andrew

ONLY local papers and newscasters carried the story. It's "a freakish accident" if a JRT kills a baby. It's a "murderous rampage" if a dog that MAY be an APBT does. The latter would also make hundreds of newspapers across the Nation and every TV and press news agency known in the galaxy.

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