Government Police/Fire

Police Charge Woman Whose Dog Attacked Man in West Hartford

Katherine Stevenson. Photo courtesy of West Hartford Police
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West Hartford Police obtained a warrant and arrested an Avon woman Tuesday in conjunction with her dog’s attack of an elderly man on Iroquois Road in West Hartford last week.

By Ronni Newton

The owner of a Boxer mix that attacked a man in West Hartford last week was arrested Tuesday and charged on several counts, police said.

After an investigation, police obtained a warrant for Katherine Stevenson, 41, of Old Farms Road in Avon, and arrested her at her home Tuesday.

Animal Control Off. Karen Jones and Off. James Mahoney determined through their investigation that the dog, which the owner had euthanized after the July 17 incident, had a “long history of aggressive behavior,” police said in their report.

The dog had violently attacked two people in the past, and Avon Animal Control had issued a restraint order which required the dog to wear a basket muzzle and a full harness with a control leash attached.

Police determined that Stevenson failed to properly secure her dog in accordance with the restraint order when it escaped from a residence she was visiting on Iroquois Road in West Hartford on July 17. The dog repeatedly attacked a then-78-year-old man at 56 Iroquois Rd., sending him to the hospital with injuries to his ribs, hand, and bicep, as well as a fractured pelvis.

The victim, William Chesanek of Duncaster Road in Bloomfield, who turned 79 the day after the attack, was also visiting someone on Iroquois Road.

Neighbors witnessed the attack and came to the aid of Chesanek, pulling the dog off him several times. According to police, the dog was separated from the victim several times but kept returning to resume the attack until it was secured by West Hartford Animal Control.

Chesanek was hospitalized as a result of his serious injuries.

Stevenson was charged with second-degree assault of an elderly person, first-degree reckless endangerment, violation of a restraint order, nuisance dog by means of vicious disposition, and roaming dog.

She is being held on $10,000 bond and scheduled to be in court on Aug. 3.

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