Cleveland killing follows killings of dog attack victims who complained in Port St. Lucie and Indianapolis
CLEVELAND, Ohio––Irate pit bull owner Johnny Hogue, 80, on September 16, 2020 pleaded “not guilty” to aggravated murder in Cuyahoga County Court, not quite two full days after killing neighbor Barbara “B.J.” Rogers, 68, with multiple close-range gunshots to her head and chest.
Rogers had repeatedly complained to police about Hogue’s pit bulls’ behavior, and about his behavior, too.
Rogers, a mother and grandmother, died on the lawn in front of the home she had occupied only since November 2019. Rogers was shot just moments after intervening in an argument between Hogue and her friend Anita Marie Kirk, 53, also a neighbor, who had also repeatedly complained to police about Hogue and his pit bulls.
Day earlier, “police were called, but he wasn’t charged”
“Kirk says she and the victim had just come back from the grocery store when they were approached by their elderly neighbor,” reported Kelly Kennedy on September 14, 2020 for WOIO television news.
“Kirk says she was arguing with the man from her porch when he shot her friend [Rogers] four or five times,” Kennedy said.
“He did it in front of me,” affirmed Kirk. “Me and him was the ones going at it.”
Continued Kennedy, “Kirk says that same man shot at her dog the day before, but missed. She says the police were called, but he wasn’t charged.
“He stays next door to me,” Kirk told Kennedy. “He shoots his gun off on the side of my house. He’s done several things and has it been reported? Yes. Can’t walk down the street because he’d let his dogs out on you. Can’t do anything. Why wasn’t it reported when he shot at my dog yesterday? Cause just that quick, it could’ve been me, because I was the one who rushed down for my dog when he shot his gun off, and we called the police, and my friend is dead today.”
“His dogs had recently attacked her”
Confirmed Kennedy, “Multiple neighbors say this man [Hogue] had an ongoing dispute with the victim over his dogs, and 19 News was told his dogs had recently attacked her. Multiple animal control vans were on scene when we arrived,” but where were they earlier, before anyone was injured?
“A different neighbor in 2018 reported to police that Hogue threatened to kill him during an argument over Hogue’s dog, according to police reports,” reported Adam Ferrise for Cleveland.com a day later.
“In that case,” Ferrise continued, “the neighbor said Hogue’s dog was roaming around the neighborhood without a leash. Hogue’s dog charged at his neighbor and the neighbor’s dog, and the neighbor chased Hogue’s dog away, according to police reports.
“The neighbor complained to Hogue, who became ‘belligerent’ and shouted insults and threats,” Ferrise recounted. “The neighbor told Hogue he planned to call the police and Hogue threatened to kill him if he did so, according to the police report.”
Held on $1 million bond
Updated Julia Tullos for WOIO, “Hogue is being held on a $1 million bond and his case has been bound over to the Cuyahoga County Grand Jury.”
This was not Hogue’s first brush with the law. He appeared in Cuyahoga County Court on June 17, 2019, apparently on five related charges, in connection with admission to Selective Intervention Program, a Cleveland diversionary program for criminal defendants with no prior criminal record or pending criminal cases.
Apparently born in Decatur, Georgia, on June 5, 1940, with the British evacuation from Dunkirk early in World War II in the headlines, Johnny Hogue also used several variations of his first name. Hogue had lived at several different addresses in the same Cleveland neighborhood, arriving at his most recent address, 9319 Gorman Avenue, in 2008.
Was Hogue in Kansas in 2013?
ANIMALS 24-7 found little other record of Hogue––unless he also spent time in Kansas in 2013.
“On February 28, 2013,” in Potter, Kansas, “a pit bull owned by Johnny Hogue attacked and killed a golden retriever,” Mary Meyers reported ten months later for the Atcheson Globe. “In early March, a pit bull owned by Robert Jones attacked and seriously injured a border collie mixed breed,” in Arrington, Kansas. “Both Jones and Hogue faced charges of harboring a vicious animal. By court order handed down in May, sheriff’s office authorities euthanized by lethal injection Hogue’s two pit bulls and Jones’ pit bull as well.”
ANIMALS 24-7 found no other record of that Johnny Hogue.
Killing recalled the massacre of the Hansman family
The murder of Barbara “B.J.” Rogers, a music enthusiast and retired registered nurse also known to friends and relatives as “Bobbi,” came seventy days after Ronald John DelSerro, 82, on July 6, 2020 fatally shot neighbors Guy Hansman, 55, and Harper Hansman, 11, in Port St. Lucie, Florida, culminating a similar long-smouldering dispute over the behavior of a dangerous dog.
Ronald DelSerro and his wife Sandra kept a bull mastiff named Roxy, also described as an “Italian mastiff” in paperwork. Roxy on March 4, 2020 invaded the Hansman yard, severely injuring the Hansman family Labradoodle and mauling Monique Hansman, 53, wife of Guy Hansman and mother of Harper Hansman.
Dog was not impounded
Ordered by Port St. Lucie animal control to quarantine Roxy at home, Ronald and Sandra DelSerro instead allowed Roxy to continue roaming the neighborhood, menacing the Hansman family and others.
Four months later, after many further complaints, Roxy was finally officially designated a dangerous dog. But the ink was barely dry on the court order before Ronald DelSerro walked into the Hansman home through the garage with two nine millimeter handguns and opened fire.
Assault by surrogate
In each case the pathology leading to murder included multiple failures of law enforcement to treat injuries inflicted by dogs as seriously as those inflicted directly by human assailants, and to recognize that repeatedly allowing dogs of known dangerous breed to roam at large is a crime of aggression, amounting to assault by surrogate.
The same pathology, including official failures to recognize the crime pattern, also led to the April 27, 2020 fatal shooting of U.S. Postal Service mail carrier Angela Summers, 45, by Tony Cushingberry-Mays, 21, in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Cushingberry-Mays is now charged with second degree murder, discharging a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence, and assault on U.S. government employee.
Chihuahua & pit bull
Media reports commonly attributed Summers’ killing to a dispute with Cushingberry-Mays’ household over non-delivery of COVID-19 economic stimulus checks.
But the sequence of events leading to the killing began with the Cushingberry-Mays family and/or others responsible for the dogs residing at 426 North Denny Street, Indianapolis, repeatedly allowing an aggressive Chihuahua to run at large, posing a threat of tripping and falling to Summers as she climbed the steps with her heavy mail bag, and then allegedly threatening Summers with a pit bull when she issued the household a “dog warning card.”
Summers, a pit bull rescuer and advocate herself, did not pursue a “dangerous dog” designation for either the pit bull or the Chihuahua.