Two pit bulls ended last victim’s troubled life in a Houston ditch
HOUSTON, Texas––Medessa Jean Ragsdale, 44, the last identified dog attack fatality of 2019, had few other distinctions in life, but most certainly did not want that one.
Ragsdale, as a 19-year-old high school junior in Hutchinson, Kansas, received a brief mention in the Hutchinson News for participating in operating a student store. Ragsdale at some point thereafter attended Brazosport Community College in Lake Jackson, Texas, near Houston.
Ragsdale was mentioned in print again, as a surviving child, when her father died in 2000.
Lost custody of child
In 2004 Ragsdale was arrested for family violence. Her parental right to custody of a child born on December 30, 2002 was terminated on March 21, 2005 by the Brazoria County Court.
Over the next decade Ragsdale appears to have been arrested at least 12 times, mostly in Clute and Daingerfield, Texas, for alleged crimes including burglary, petty theft, and drug related offenses.
Opening at least six different Facebook accounts, Ragsdale in 2011 used one of those accounts to swear off mind-altering drugs, but by October 2011 was charged with debt card fraud. Ragsdale announced in December 2015 that she was expecting another child, posting a photo of herself in advanced pregnancy, then all but dropped off of Facebook.
Identified with pit bulls
On May 7, 2018, however, Ragsdale posted a meme of a pit bull captioned “Don’t let anybody steal your shine.” Ragsdale also posted the meme as her Facebook page cover photo.
Ragsdale surfaced for the last time––but went unidentified for 12 days––when two pit bulls killed her at about 5:30 a.m. on December 21, 2019.
“One woman was killed and another woman was severely injured in two separate dog attacks involving the same animals,” reported Taisha Walker of KPRC Click2Houston.
ANIMALS 24-7 reported the details on December 23, 2019.
“A friend of the deceased said the woman made a living working the streets, but said she was sweet and giving,” Walker added. “The unidentified woman told KPRC2 that her friend [Ragsdale] was walking to get a cell phone,” which was being charged at an acquaintance’s house, “when she was attacked.”
Pit bulls again in 2019 accounted for 70%-plus of attacks
Altogether, dogs killed 46 Americans and one Canadian in 2019. Pit bulls and pit mixes killed 33 of the U.S. victims (72%).
1,156 dogs, total, injured or killed 757 Americans and Canadians in attacks on 240 children and 546 adults in which at least one person was killed or disfigured.
In addition to the 47 fatalities, 640 victims suffered disfigurements, while 146 escaped with lesser injuries.
Exactly 700 pit bulls (61%) accounted for 188 attacks on children (78%) in which someone was killed or disfigured, the lowest total since 2012, and 385 attacks on adults (71%), a new high.
Pit bulls are currently about 5.8% of the U.S. dog population.
New highs in pit bull attacks on adults in which someone was killed or disfigured have now been reached in 11 of the past 12 years––and the 350 attacks on adults in which someone was killed or disfigured in 2016 were only four short of the then-record 354, reached in 2015.
The 33 pit bull fatalities in 2019 were one above the average for the decade 2010-2019.
Prior to 2010, pit bulls had only once killed more than 14 people in a year, but had killed 24 people in 2009. Pit bulls have now killed fewer than 30 people in only one year since 2012, and in that year killed 29.
2019 PIT BULL FATALITIES
1) Lana Bergman, 70, Joshua Tree, CA, 1-17-2019. (Killed by 4 resident pits owned by transients temporarily allowed to live on her property, facing eviction at the time. See January 2019 saw the most dog-related deaths in 13 months.)
2) Ashton McGhee, 1, Guthrie, KY, 2-7-2019.
3) Edward Stanley, 85, Amarillo, TX, 1-21-2019. (Killed by pit bull and German shepherd mix, attacked two weeks before death on 1-7-2019.)
4) Brenda Hamilton, 77, Pantego, NC, 2-15-2019. (Killed by 2 pits, according to neighbors. Dogs not officially identified.)
5) Johnnie Mae Gardner, 88, Lubbock, TX, 2-27-2019. (Killed by 5 pit bulls)
6) Jacari Long, 6 months, Salisbury, NC, 3-5-2019. (Killed by pit/boxer mix.)
7) Tanner Kinnamon, 2, High Springs, FL, 3-8-2019. (Killed by two “rescued” pit bulls, one of them initially misidentified in some published accounts as a Labrador retriever.)
8) Cassidy Grabber, 46, Lubbock, TX, 3-9-2019. (Died from “medical condition” after breaking up a fight between a pit bull and another dog.)
9) Johana Villafane, 33, Irving, TX, 3-23-2019. (Killed by her own 2 pit bulls. )
10) Isaiah Geiling, 2, Louisville, KY, 5-1-2019. (2nd attack by family pit bull)
11) Christine Liquori, 67, Fort Pierce, FL, 5-9-2019 (Humane Society of St. Lucie volunteer. See Why did pit bull & Malinois victims Liquori & Hazel die alone?)
12) Crystal Lynn Pearigin, 36, Bakersfield, CA, 6-16-2019. (Killed by 3 pit bulls, two of whom escaped from a nearby business)
13) Brian Butler, Gilbertsville, KY, 6-30-2019. (Killed by 2 pit bulls.)
14) Marie Cristina Crawford, 54, Ventura, CA, 7-1-2019. (Own 2 dogs mutilated body, circumstances unclear; one appears to have been pit bull named Havoc Rose.)
15) Melvin Olds Jr., 45, Lake Placid, FL, 7-5-2019. (Mauled by 6 stray pit bulls)
16) Homer Utterback, 52, Uniontown, PA, 7-11-2019.
17) Mario Moore, 40, Memphis, TN, 7-19-2019 (Killed in 7-8 dog attack; at least 2 pit bulls among them.)
18) Nelson Cabrera, 16, Irving, TX, 8-10-2019 (Killed by 3 pit bulls.)
19) Emma Hernandez, 9, Detroit, MI, 8-19-2019. (Killed by 3 pit bulls. See Is the new “Motown sound” the scream of a pit bull victim?)
20) Adrienna O’Shea, 19, Marysville, TN, 8-27-2019 (Officially killed by pack including 1 pit bull, 1 mastiff, 1 Rottweiler/Lab mix, 2 mastiff/Lab mixes. Photos appear to show 2 Rottweiler/pit mixes, 1 Lab/pit, 1 brindle pit mix.)
21) Dougal Rubino (tentative identification), 13 months, Granite Bay, CA, 9-19-2019. (Killed by pit bull reportedly in the home for six years.)
22) Allen Bruce, 56, Bennington, OK, 9-30-2019. (Mauled 2 days before by 2 pit bulls & a dog of mixed breed. See “National Pit Bull Awareness Month” opens with two pit bull fatalities.)
23) Morgan Crayton, 31, Hampton, VA, 9-29-2019. (Killed by own pit bull raised from pup.)
24) Dustin Bryan, 21, Modesto, CA, 10-8-2019. (Killed in sleep by 2 pit bulls.)
25) Benjamin Cobb, 4, Hazel Park, MI, 10-29-2019. (Killed by pit bull. See Hazel Park undid pit bull bylaw that should have saved 4-year-old.)
26) Brandy Joy Böschen aka Odell, aka Urban, 41, Bay City MI, 11-4-2019 (Killed by own two pit bulls. See The Third Dog: a mystery featuring 2 deaths, 2 Great Danes, 2 pit bulls, and ???.)
27) Janet M. D’Aleo, 95, Suffield, CT, 11-6-2019 (Killed by HSUS rep Anne Hornish’s pit/pointer mix. See Pit bull kills guest in home of HSUS Connecticut state rep Anne Hornish.)
28) Lasaro Macedo, 38, Madera, CA, 11-11-2019. (Homeless male. Police shot 1 of 2 pit bulls at scene.)
29) Lorena Cordova, 40+, Dacula, GA, 11-21-2019. (Attacked on 9-16-2019.)
30) Victor Garces, 12, Hollis, OK, 12-13-2019. (Attacked by 2 pits, owners charged. See Pit bulls kill four in eight days approaching Christmas 2019.)
31) Cledith Davenport, 79, Broken Bow, OK, 12-14-2019. (Killed by 8-10 pit/blue heeler mixes. See Pit bulls kill four in eight days approaching Christmas 2019.)
32) Melissa Astacio, 44, Somerset, RI, 12-21-2019. (Mauled by own pit bull in home.)
33) Medessa Jean Ragsdale, 44, Houston, TX, 12-21-2019. (Mauled by 3 pit bulls on street.)
Counted as 2018 fatality:
Angela Johnson, 54, Anza, CA, died 2-19-2019, after being on life support since pit bull attack 12-15-2018.
2019 FATALITIES BY OTHER BREEDS & UNKNOWN
Nancy Burgess-Dismuke, 52, Greenville, SC, 2-21-2019. (Killed by two boxer mixes.)
Robert Joseph Quick, 32, Fort Madison, IA, 5-31-2019.
Unidentified, 2, Newman, CA, 6-27-2019.
[See Adrienna O’Shea under Pit Bulls.]
CATTLE DOG MIX
Jimmy Lee Griggs, 53, Santa Fe, TX, 3-13-2019. (Killed by 3 dogs, pit mix suspected.)
Elaine Richman, 66, Houston, TX, 2-11-2019. (Killed by own 2 Dobermans. See Houston dog fancier killed: “Before pit bulls, it was Dobermans”?)
Jill Peterson, 88, Pall Mall, TN, 2-26-2019. (Killed by six German shepherds.)
Mary Matthews, 49, Waynesville, OH, 11-4-2019 (Killed by her own two dogs; a third dog, never identified, was apparently also at the scene. See The Third Dog: a mystery featuring 2 deaths, 2 Great Danes, 2 pit bulls, and ???.)
Keewatin tribe member, 2, Gods Lake Narrows, Manitoba, 9-24-2019. (Unwitnessed attack.)
Ryan Hazel, 14, Deighton, MA, 5-10-2019. (Killed by four Malinois. See Why did pit bull & Malinois victims Liquori & Hazel die alone?.)
[See Adrienna O’Shea under Pit Bulls.]
Jaysiah Chavez, 2, Fresno, CA, 3-22-2019. (Killed by 2 Rottweilers.)
Kyna Marie Pamela Deshane, Henderson, NV, 4-27-2019.
[See Adrienna O’Shea under Pit Bulls.]
Steven Thornton III, 3, Louisville, KY, 10-1-2019.
Dianne Reves, 70, Grenada County, MS, 1-11-2019 (7 dogs owned by Philip Sr Cross)
Patricia Henson, 8 months, Tucson, AZ, 1-24-19
Freddie Mack, 57, Venus, TX, remains found 5-15-2019.