Same pit-led pack nearly killed another man in same place the next day
RINGGOLD, Louisiana––Three alleged owners of a free-roaming 26-member dog pack consisting of nine pit bulls and 17 smaller dogs are charged with negligent homicide and obstruction of justice, and a fourth person is charged as an accessory after the fact, after the remains of a man known to have been attacked by the dogs at least once on September 26, 2023, believed to have been attacked twice, were found on October 28, 2023 in a wooded area near the suspects’ home on dead-end Pine Street in Ringgold, Louisiana.
The same pit bull-led pack nearly killed a second man the following day, September 27, 2023.
Arrested by the Bienville Parish Sheriff’s Office and booked into the parish jail on the negligent homicide and obstruction of justice charges were Charlotte Hubbard, 77; Shawn Hubbard, 32; and Gerald Miller, 51.
The alleged accessory after the fact is Cameron Kelly, 21.
All four suspects are Caucasian. Both the dead man, Donovan Brooks, 40, and Davyta Gray, 30, who narrowly survived the September 27, 2023 attack, are African-American.
How coincidental those facts are may be debated, inasmuch as Ringgold has been lastingly infamous for 90 years in part for the February 19, 1933 lynching of Nelson Nash, 24.
Nash, an African-American, according to contemporary newspaper accounts confessed to having kidnapped Ringgold Bank cashier J.P. Bachelor and his wife in a pre-dawn robbery attempt the same day.
When Bachelor explained that he could not open the Ringgold Bank safe, Nash “marched [the Bachelors] more than a mile north of town on the railroad track, where he attempted to attack Mrs. Bachelor,” contemporary newspaper accounts say, and beat J.P. Bachelor to death when J.P. Bachelor intervened.
Bonnie & Clyde
Ringgold is also infamous as the location where 15 months later the outlaws Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker, on their way to visit Bienville Parish resident Ivy Methvin, were on May 23, 1934 shot from ambush by six law enforcement officers from three different agencies in two states, without being given the opportunity to surrender first.
Barrow had killed 17 people in a two-year crime spree; Parker had participated in killing 12, nine of them police officers.
When four of the six law officers who killed Barrow and Parker left the scene to telephone their superiors, a mob stripped Barrow and Parker’s bullet-riddled stolen car and their corpses of whatever they could grab, including torn off pieces of bloody clothing. The county coroner reportedly stopped two men who tried to hack off Barrow’s trigger finger and right ear.
The law officers were able to recover more than a dozen guns, several thousand rounds of ammunition, and Barrow’s saxophone, but additional weapons, ammo, and personal effects may have been taken by the mob.
More recently, Ringgold, population barely 1,300, has become notorious for illegal drug trafficking, including the 2018 arrests of 26 residents––about one adult in 30––for trafficking methamphetamine and cocaine.
“You can go just about anywhere within 50 miles of Ringgold, and they say it’s pretty much if you want drugs, you can go to Ringgold,” Bienville Parish sheriff John Ballance admitted in 2018 to KTBS reporter Vickie Wellborn.
Ballance and Humane Society of Louisiana founder Jeff Dorson have for years tried unsuccessfully to persuade the Bienville Parish board that the parish urgently needs a full-time animal control officer and a dog pound, only to be told over and over that these are luxuries the parish cannot afford.
“I’m going back to take care of the dogs”
Pit bull attack fatality victim Donovan Brooks had already been attacked once by the same pack on the same day he was killed.
Brooks was last seen, Sheriff Ballance told media, buying hydrogen peroxide to disinfect what appeared to be a bad dog bite.
A witness told Brooks that he should see a doctor.
Instead, Brooks reportedly told the witness, “I’m going back down there to take care of the dogs,” and “rode off on his bike toward the house at the end of the road,” Pine Street in Ringgold, “where officials believe he was killed by the dogs that roamed there,” narrated Olivia Lloyd for McClatchy News Services.
“The man’s family had been looking for him”
“Ballance said the man’s family had been looking for him,” wrote Lloyd. “They found a billfold belonging to Brooks and clothing matching the description the witness gave after seeing him last.
“Investigators said Brooks’ body was moved from the yard into woods about 120 feet past the house and 50 feet from the road,” Lloyd added.
In addition to impounding the nine pit bulls and 17 small dogs suspected of participating in killing Brooks, Bienville Parish sheriff’s deputies found several dead dogs on the property, including “a black garbage bag in the woods containing remains believed to be of a large dog.”
Brooks’ disappearance “was not entered into the National Crime Information Center [data base] by Ringgold Police until October 19, 2023,” Brooke Thorington reported for the Louisiana Radio Network.
“Neighbors called the police”
But the very next day after Brooks disappeared, Davyta Gray “told Ringgold police he was walking on Pine Street when he was attacked by the dogs,” according to Paige Nash of the Bienville Parish Journal.
Gray suffered as many as 130 bites, Nash reported.
“The lady [apparently Charlotte Hubbard] told me to just lie still,” Gray told Nash, “and they would stop attacking me, but they never did. I tried to hit them, but at that point I was too weak to fight back.”
Continued Nash, “Gray said that the owner of the dogs left him to go back inside her home and that it was the neighbors who called the police.”
Recounted Gray, “I have had five surgeries to repair my ankle and to remove all the dog teeth that were left in me. I have also been checked for infections and rabies.”
Pack tore out pins & plates from old injuries
Added Nash, “Gray had pins and plates in his leg from a previous injury that were torn out during the attack. He will have to participate in a physical therapy program to get back to a point where he can eventually walk again.”
In absence of a local dog pound, after the attack on Gray, Ringgold police chief Freddie Peterson allowed the pack to be quarantined for 10 days at the owners’ residence.
“The Health Department is now involved and they will have the final say in dealing with the dogs,” Peterson told Nash.
“According to sources,” Nash wrote, “the woman that owns the dogs has been summoned to appear in court.
“This will get the owner in to see the judge and the District Attorney will file to have a hearing,” Ballance explained.
“Vicious dogs will be euthanized”
“If the animals are found to be vicious dogs, they will be euthanized.”
“These were vicious attacks,” Ballance emphasized.
Finished Nash, “It’s frustrating, Ballance said, because it’s not the first time a dog has attacked someone in the parish. Several years ago, a resident in the village of Bienville was bitten in the stomach and required surgery. And the responding deputy was attacked, too.
“Something has to be done,” said Ballance. “We’re not dog handlers; we’re not animal control. We investigate dog bites and things of that nature, but we’re not animal control people.”