Rottweiler raised from puppy by man who called himself “Nitemare”
WAYNESBORO, Virginia––Waynesboro, Virginia police officers and Augusta County Sheriff’s deputies on May 13, 2022 arrested the parents and grandparents of seven-year-old Olivia Grace Floyd, killed by a four-year-old family Rottweiler named Ranger on January 29, 2022.
The Rottweiler, acquired by adoptive grandfather Stephen Christopher Kachmar as a birthday present to himself in 2017, had been raised by family members from puppyhood.
(See Family Rottweiler raised from pup kills first dog attack victim of 2022, age 7.)
Despite that upbringing, Ranger reportedly had prior attack history.
Most seriously, Ranger on September 11, 2020, reportedly pulled away from a woman who was walking him on a leash to maul a 23-year-old Waynesboro man who was walking near the owners’ home. The victim in that case was said to have suffered permanent scarring on his chest.
Indicted by the Waynesboro grand jury were Stephen Christopher Kachmar, 60, also known on social media as Chris Nitemare Kachmar; his wife, grandmother of the victim, Penny Lee Bashlor, 64; Brooks Anthony Floyd, 39, father of the victim; and his wife, mother of the victim, Alicia Rene Floyd, 37.
Charged with five offenses
Kachmar and Bashlor were each charged with five offenses, for which the maximum penalty could be 70 years in prison:
- Non-capital murder;
- Involuntary manslaughter;
- Child abuse causing serious injury;
- Child cruelty resulting in injury; and
- Keeping a vicious dog causing serious injury to a person.
Brooks Anthony Floyd and Alicia Rene Floyd were charged only with child cruelty resulting in injury, carrying a potential maximum sentence of up to five years in prison.
Held without bond
Kachmar and Bashlor were held without bond at the Middle River Regional Jail. Bond for Brooks Floyd, also held at the Middle River Regional Jail, has apparently not yet been set.
Alicia Floyd was released on a personal recognizance bond, apparently as primary caregiver for another child in the family.
Friends of the family objected on social media that, in their view, none should have been criminally charged.
Posted Stephanie Kachmar to Facebook, “My brother is a U.S. Army vet and my sister-in-law is an oncology nurse. They have spent their lives serving, protecting, and healing. Waynesboro should be more than shamed. This hurt goes much further than Virginia.”
Health care professionals should have known better
Altogether, three of the four family members now facing charges are health care professionals, who for that very reason might have been expected to recognize the potential risk in allowing a Rottweiler with serious bite history to be anywhere near children––and, for that matter, in keeping a Rottweiler at all.
Alicia Floyd has for almost 17 years been a registered nurse at Rockingham Memorial Hospital in Harrisburg, Virginia.
Brooks Floyd is a nurse practitioner in Staunton, Virginia.
Penny Bashlor, facing the heaviest charges along with her husband, has for more than 23 years been a nursing supervisor at the University of Virginia Medical Center in Charlottesville, Virginia.
First of 21 dog attack fatalities thus far in 2022
Olivia Grace Floyd was the first U.S. dog attack fatality of 2022. The toll for 2022 now stands at 21 confirmed dog attack deaths, plus several probable dog attack deaths that are still under investigation.
Pit bulls inflicted 11 of the fatal attacks, six were inflicted by dogs not yet apprehended or identified by breed, two fatalities were by German shepherds, and one was by a Cane Corso.
Olivia Grace Floyd is so far the only Rottweiler fatality of 2022, but Rottweilers have killed 114 Americans and Canadians since 1982, a toll second only to the 566 Americans and Canadians killed by pit bulls.
The 435 disfiguring injuries inflicted by Rottweilers since 1982 are also second only to the 5,370 disfiguring injuries inflicted by pit bulls.
Jigs Gaton says
I’m still confused, is it the breed or the owners (humans) that are the problem, or both in conjunction, like a perfect storm? I’ve known a few pit bulls and rottweilers in my day, and they were all the most beautiful beings ever. But so were their owners. And if GSDs are down 3rd on the list, I can say from direct hands-on, that there is nothing at all wrong with the breed.
Merritt Clifton says
The analogy that Beth & I often use is that riding a motorcycle is inherently much more dangerous than driving a car because two wheels are inherently less stable that four, and because a motorcycle rider is not protected by a steel-and-plastic cage. Even if a motorcycle rider is careful at all times, the motorcyclist is much more likely to be killed in an accident.
Compound the inherent risk of riding a motorcycle with speeding, drunk driving, cutting in and out, a wet or icy road and/or a gravel surface, & multiply it by the reality that many of the other people on the road are also doing dangerous things, and it should be no surprise that motorcycle-related fatalities run five and a half times higher than car-related fatalities per 100,000 miles traveled, according to current National Highway Transportation Safety Administration data.
The greater risk associated with motorcycles is approximately equal to the greater risk associated with Rottweilers. Multiply that risk times two to get the risk factor for pit bulls: 11 times more likely to kill someone than the average dog.
Labrador retrievers are right at the average for dog risk. Setters and pointers are at the low end for large dogs, neither having been involved in a fatal attack in either the U.S. or Canada in at least 40 years, even though both have been approximately as popular as Rottweilers on average over that time.
Also see Why Rottweilers are as deadly as pit bulls (2021 update).
George Waters says
But it is a good question though, which Jigs Gaton asks, and I only state that because of my own personal experience with a “to be destroyed dog” which I ended up adopting, who just happens to be the dog in my profile picture, which I would like to briefly explain if I may.
In February of 2010, a woman who I was aquainted with decided to rescue out of the Waterbury Dog Pound a white pitbull type dog that had two different colored eyes who was to be put down that day, due to being both an escape artist along with not being suitable for being housed.
So, imagine the look on my face – a cat person – upon meeting this strange looking dog !!
But at the same time, while I was frightened of this dog, I had an almost immediate sinking feeling that the dog was going to wind up living with me.
I noticed almost immediately that the dogs so called rescuer was not really spending any time with this poor dog, instead opting to keep her cordoned off in the kitchen, where her barks and wimpers for attention went ignored, and she was scolded for so called bad behavior.
To my surprise, when I went to check the dog out of concern, I got yelled at stating that I know nothing about dogs, and to leave her alone.
Well, long story short once this person and her dogs moved closer to me, I was dog sitting while she was down south getting yet another dog, and I soon realized that this poor white dog was being neglected.
She banged her tail so hard begging for attention that it would bleed.
The owner only let the dog out of her crate for maybe 1 to 2 hours a day MAYBE.
So when this dog who really liked me a lot gave me the ‘please get me out of here look’ I hand no choice, as the situation was beginning to go along the same lines as what went down with those 5 dogs in Fairfield…..
So, I adopted for my very first dog, a dog who I witnessed break out of a wire crate, and snarl at her [previous] owner.
The the persons credit, she made me promise that if I did adopt the dog it would be a minimum 10 year solid commitment, which I said “DEAL” before she even finished,
Well, once home I decided that rule number one was going to be no more crates….
Rule number two was that I would treat her the way I would want to be treated if I was a dog.
Within 2 or 3 days any and all negative behavior ceased.
Because Loki knew she finally gotten what she always wanted: a forever home where she would be safe and sound, loved… and not crated.
Now – because I knew I had a so called dangerous dog, because like we all know, the numbers do not lie – I was very proactive when it came to dealing with those who choose to let their dogs run off leash – rather than reactive – acting after the fact.
I was lucky, I worked nights so we had all day to do things by ourselves such as to go exploring in the woods, take her swimming, etc…. and it was amazing to see this dog transform once she got to see what life was really all about – nice long walks, and just real nice sincere companionship.
After a few years, my letter carrier asked me if she needed to be on a teather when we were both in my yard, I decided to see if Loki could respond favorably to being on a leash longer then the fence line, which she did very well, and by this point my little friend had become my little pig shaped friend, I decided no more leash in the yard – but still 100% supervision, and it was the best deal ever, because now I set about transforming my boring grass yard into a natural yard complete with a mini forest [trees close together bout only 3 – 4 feet high, creating the illusion of a forest] with paths, and a couple of man made ponds, in other words I crafted a really beautiful place where we can be both outside when the weather is agreeable.
Overtime, my special friend started to slow down, coincidently so did I first with back problems now knee… and today Loki is 14 years old, and while she now hobbles around like and old lady, I am so thankful that I was able to provide for her the most perfect life I could, because a dogs life is completely dependent on the life we provide and give them.
Now – was it always perfect ??
No – we had problems, she was attacked twice by unleashed bully breed dogs.
Also – some very rotten kids who lived up the street would taunt her, believe me I put a quick stop to that as I have a reputation of being a direct action type person, not one who calls the police [although now that I am older….]
And now with things being ideal in our little neighborhood, there is huge stress because of the house behind me going up for sale as now I wonder who will move in there, will they be mean, will they have vicious dogs ??? because I have always been a real protector of my dog, as I don’t ever want her getting into any trouble ever, which as she really slows down now I feel I have to watch out for her even more, so yes it’s been super exhausting knowing that I have to be that much more responsible, but at the same time it’s been very much rewarding as I have never experienced the love which my dog gives me each and every moment of of every day.
Would I ever get another dog ??
Probably not, as it is such a huge responsibility and as I age I would be concerned with what if something happens to me, etc…..
I apologize for this long comment, but again I felt it was a good question asked, and Merritt I feel your answer was very thorough and sincere and factual, but I also felt I should interject my own experience with adopting a dog who desperately needed a new lease on life.
I still believe – especially after owning a “to be destroyed dog” for many many years now that there are no bad dogs, just bad owners, but again that’s only based on the experience I’ve had with my dog, and seeing how she was with the pervious owner who rescued her, which believe me – was a very very unhealthy situation for that poor dog.
Merritt Clifton says
The above is the sort of anecdotal history that ANIMALS 24-7 receives from pit bull owners every time we mention pit bulls, offset by the much greater volume of anecdotal histories we receive from pit bull attack victims, their survivors, and in the case of animal victims, their owners.
Meanwhile, the hard data shows that about a third of all pit bull attack fatalities were killed by pit bulls living in their own homes, kept as pets, often from puppyhood. The history shows that pit bulls have been bred for at least 500 years to attack without warning and go straight for the kill, since that is what wins dogfights.
And to extend the motorcycle analogy, many people manage to ride motorcycles without accident for many years without getting killed. On the other hand, half of all motorcycle fatalities have had approximately 25 years of riding experience before the odds caught up with them, and 25% had approximately 35 years of riding experience before they got killed. The fact that several thousand motorcyclists per year got away with it for quite a long time does not negate the reality that a person is 28 times more likely to die driving a motorcycle than driving a car.
Jimbo Seven says
Go spend significant time observing a busy dog park and/or talk to regulars who don’t own pits or GSDs.
Merritt Clifton says
About 10% of all fatal pit bull attacks on other dogs––about 1,000 out of 10,000 per year in the U.S.––occur at dog parks.
Jimbo Seven says
That’s a frightening figure. I had no idea it was that high. Before getting a dog and regularly going to dog parks I believed the narrative that it was the owner, not the breed but that is absolutely not true in my experience. There are pits and pit mixes that are lovingly raised from small pups that will engage in completely unprovoked attacks on other dogs. Anecdotally, I would guess a disproportionate number of pit attacks at dog parks result from people bringing rescued dogs that either haven’t been adequately vetted or described by shelters, rescues, or previous owners.
Comment from a woman claiming to be a neighbor on FB, seems to indicate the dog was subject to a disposal order for a bite, and the owner disregarded it. I have no idea if it’s true, but that would explain the severity of the charges.
“This dog was ordered to be euthanized for numerous biting incidents! They didn’t do what was ordered, and it killed a child! Are they supposed to be rewarded or charged? The whole neighborhood was warned and on alert about this massive dog. If it did that to a familiar person, no one has a chance. Everybody is fair game to a dangerous dog obviously. The state is making an example out of them, for disregarding orders to have it put down.”
Jimbo Seven says
There are social media comments claiming this but it doesn’t seem possible under Virginia law. For a court-ordered euthanasia, law enforcement has to file a charge at which point the dog is taken and held by animal control until a court rules. All this would be on the public record. If it is so ordered, the government then euthanizes the dog; the owner would not have the option of refusing because they don’t get the dog back. Virginia law is somewhat slack, there are situations where dogs can attack humans or even kill another dog and still not be ordered euthanized.