Amazon delivery driver is 58th death, Rottweiler owner convicted of double mauling, Pahrump breeder/hoarder loses possession of 300 Ovarchkas, & pit bull attack survivor Kyleen Waltman found in possession of meth, all in just four days
EXCELSIOR SPRINGS, Missouri; ALPHARETTA, Georgia; PAHRUMP, Nevada; ABBEVILLE, South Carolina––An Amazon delivery driver whose name has yet to be disclosed on October 24, 2022 became the record 58th U.S. and Canadian dog attack fatality of the year.
Employed by Three Trails Delivery LLC, an Amazon subcontractor based in Kansas City, Missouri, the driver died in the front yard of a home where he was trying to leave a package, Ray County, Missouri sheriff Scott Childers told media.
Sheriff shot both dogs
The homeowner was not present, Childers said. The German shepherd and English mastiff believed to have killed the Amazon driver charged emergency medical personnel and sheriff’s deputies, Childers told media.
Observing blood on a dog door when the dogs ran inside, Childers entered the home, he said, and shot both dogs dead.
Childers in August 2022 led the impoundment of 25 Chihuahuas and 25 pit bulls in a Camden, Missouri alleged puppy mill case, adopting one of the pit bull puppies himself.
Other delivery drivers critical of company response
The Amazon delivery driver’s death tied the 2017 record of 56 dog attack fatalities in the U.S. alone.
Former Three Trails Delivery LLC driver Blake Adolphsen was the most outspoken of several drivers who told Andrea Klick of KansasCity.com that dispatchers used location tracking to monitor truck movements, and would call drivers who spent too long at any one stop, but apparently did not check on the driver who died.
“I was getting calls, text messages as I was driving from dispatch, asking me why I was three stops behind on my route,” Adolphsen said. “But he was lying there dying for two hours, and nothing.”
Rottweiler owner convicted
The fourth week of October 2022 also included resolutions of one of the most severe Rottweiler attacks of 2021 that did not lead to a fatality, and a hoarding case involving an estimated 300 Ovcharkas, while the aftermath of high-profile mauling by multiple pit bulls, one of the worst ever that a victim survived, picked up complications.
In Alpharetta, a suburb of Atlanta, a three-day jury trial convicted realtor Charlotte Landy, 58, of eight counts of reckless conduct for the May 11, 2011 Rottweiler maulings of brothers Rett and Foster Godfrey, aged 8 and 6.
Landy was sentenced to spend one year in prison and three years under house arrest, with four more years suspended.
“Children screaming bloody murder”
Recounted Atlanta Journal-Constitution columnist Bill Torpy of the May 11, 2021 attack, “Mary Ellen Merriam, 60, stepped from her Alpharetta home to hear children screaming bloody murder.
“Merriam looked down the street to see Rett and Foster Godfrey fighting for their lives with two frenzied Rottweilers twice their size.
“She threw herself across the younger boy, Foster, and was bit up herself,” Torpy narrated, but “that freed Foster momentarily and allowed him to run a quarter mile home on torn legs.”
Hearing the fracas from a nearby yard, swimming pool installation foreman Joey Boassy , a 34-year-old ex-Marine, ran to the rescue.
“Rett had just gotten away from the dog, red from head to toe,” Boassy told Torpy. “He took two steps and the dog was on his throat, shaking his neck and just ripping it.”
Pool installation crew to the rescue
Boassy “scooped Rett up and ran back towards the job site,” he continued to Torpy.
Wrote Torpy, “The dogs chased him and briefly knocked him down, but they stopped dead in their tracks” when another several men from the pool installation crew came out to investigate.
Foster, “bleeding profusely,” meanwhile reached the boys’ home and alerted their father, Scott Godfrey, who jumped into his car with the boy and rushed to the scene.”
Recounted Torpy, “Rett had more than 30 lacerations and needed 300 stiches in his neck, shoulder, arms and groin. Muscles were destroyed. Foster endured almost as many stiches. Both spent three nights in the hospital.”
The Vasili Platunov neglect case, involving 300-odd starved, dead, and dying Ovarchkas, also known as Caucasian shepherds, surprisingly did not end up with humans killed or injured.
Nye County, Nevada, after years of complaints from neighbors, finally impounded the Ovarchkas in early September 2022.
Reported Pahrump, Nevada activist Bob Wannberg, via Facebook, “I was in District Court on October 26, 2022 for Vasili Platunov’s evidentiary hearing,” pertaining to the 300-plus Russian Caucasian shepherds seized from Valsili Platunov by the Nye County Sheriff for animal cruelty in both Armargosa and Pahrump. Nevada.
“Mass graves & burial pits”
“Testimony revealed ongoing severe animal cruelty at the Platunov properties,” Wannberg detailed, “including mass graves and burial pits found, puppies discovered frozen in freezers, numerous dogs found in a hot garage on the property with terrible conditions, no ventilation or cooling in the middle of summer heat, mice running rampant, maggots found on dogs and feces all over kennel floors and cages. Most of the dogs had no water. Dogs were all malnourished to a significant extent. Some had missing feet and limbs. Most had sores, wounds, were covered with dirt and feces, with bad teeth. Infections were present in many of them.
“Platunov had operated a security dog kennel in Pahrump since 2010,” Wannberg summarized. “He was in violation of county ordinances from at least 2011. At no point was he allowed to keep more than 30 dogs.
“Defied Nye County laws for over a decade”
“Platunov defied Nye County laws for over a decade,” Wannberg continued, “yet was never arrested or his animals seized,” until veterinarian Suzanne Zervantian reported having had to euthanize a dog Platunov brought her for treatment, as the dog had been neglected beyond possibility of recovery.
Earlier, in February and March 2022, Wannberg recounted, “then-Animal Control supervisor Susan Ryhal attempted to investigate a report of cruelty at Platunov’s property,” but testimony confirmed local media reports that Nye County commissioner Frank Carbone interfered on Platunov’s behalf, as he had allegedly done on other occasions since 2020.
District Court Judge Robert Lane ordered that the estimated 300 Ovarchkas remain in custody of the Nye County Sheriff’s Office.
Facing felony cruelty charges
Posted the Nye County Sheriff’s Office, “We will be transferring the animals to the American SPCA for continued much-needed medical and behavioral assessments and care.
“The ASPCA is working to transport these dogs to a facility outside of Nevada.”
Felony animal cruelty cases are pending against both Platunov and Oskana Higgins, his ex-wife, who was also found in possession of some of the severely neglected Ovarchkas.
“Worst ever” pit bull attack survivor busted for meth
Attacked by neighbor Justin Minor’s pit bulls on March 21, 2022 while walking on a dirt road near her home in Honea Path, South Carolina, restaurant worker Kyleen Waltman, 39, suffered the loss of both of her arms, amputated at the shoulder, lost her colon, nearly lost a leg, and endured numerous skin grafts during the next several months, detailed by family members on a GoFundMe page.
Hospitalized for two months, Waltman had no medical insurance, and Medicaid only partially covered her care.
More than 6,000 GoFundMe donors, however, contributed $308,000 toward her medical expenses.
On October 24, 2022, however, Abbeville County sheriff’s deputies stopped a car for erratic driving. While the driver was not charged with an offense, passengers Waltman and Jeffrey Wayne Bond, 38, who had outstanding warrants, were found in possession of methamphetamine.
Deputies reportedly also found an illegally altered firearm in the car.
Dog owner facing lighter charges
Waltman had 15.5 grams of meth in two bags and her purse, Abbeville County sheriff’s captain Matthew Graham told media, a quantity considered to be of trafficking weight.
Justin Minor, 36, the neighbor whose pit bulls mauled Waltman, is reportedly facing three misdemeanor counts of owning a dangerous animal that attacked and injured a human, rabies control violation and allowing a dangerous animal to run at large.
The two pit bulls and suspected pit mix seen attacking Waltman were euthanized. Eight other dogs impounded at the scene were transferred to a local animal shelter and offered for adoption.
Lieutenant Jeffrey Hines of the Abbeville County Sheriff’s Office testified at an April 27, 2022 preliminary hearing that Minor’s pit bulls had injured another person in December 2021, identified as Roy Ashley, who was treated at the Veteran’s Administration hospital in Asheville, North Carolina.
Minor was released pending trial on bond of $15,000. The most serious of the charges against him carries a maximum fine of $5,000 per count, and/or up to three years in prison.
Judge Susan Gladden released Waltman on personal recognizance two days after her arrest.
Gladden warned Waltman at the bond hearing if she is found guilty as charged at trial, she will be a convicted felon, facing three to ten years in prison plus a $25,000 fine.