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Published: Monday, February 10, 2014 @ 1:15 PM
Updated: Monday, February 10, 2014 @ 9:35 PM
DAYTON — Klonda Richey, killed in a dog mauling Friday morning, regularly filed complaints about her next-door neighbors and their dogs and made numerous statements that she feared for her life.
"If you want to hurt me, shoot or stab me. Leave cats in peace," Richey apparently wrote in an undated letter to her neighbors Julie Custer, 25, and Andrew Nason, 28, 35 E. Bruce Ave. The letter was included in hundreds of pages of court documents, a civil complaint order and other complaints and dispatch logs from the Montgomery County Animal Resource Center and Montgomery County Regional Dispatch Center.
The paper trail obtained by News Center 7 and the Dayton Daily News documents a consistent effort by Richey, 57, to call attention to what she considered threats to her safety. The dogs were never removed from the home as a result of her many complaints.
She was naked when her body was found in the snow Feb. 7 outside her home, 31 E. Bruce Ave., by a passer-by. When police arrived, two mixed-Mastiff breeds charged at them, prompting the officers to shoot and kill them.
Custer and Nason, owners of the dogs responsible for the mauling, were arrested Friday. They were released from jail Sunday evening.
"Due to the complex nature of the laws concerning animals, we just felt that at this point it would be better off to get our ducks in a row before we proceeded any further," Dayton Sgt. Richard Blommel said, explaining why Custer and Nason were released. "We're still investigating and we'll meet again with the prosecutors when they feel that we have enough to move forward for an indictment."
Meantime, detectives are trying to determine what led the dogs — identified by the county coroner's office as Cane Corsos, a breed in the Mastiff family — to fatally maul Richey.
News Center 7 and the Dayton Daily News have learned that Richey filed complaints with the Montgomery County Animal Resource Center and sought a civil stalking protection order denied by a magistrate in February 2013. Richey appealed, but was denied by Judge Michael Krumholtz in April 2013.
Custer and Nason, in the protection order, stated that Richey had been harassing them.
"At one point she also stated to Andrew Nason 'the world would be better off [if] you died,' Custer wrote in a letter to the court as part of the protection order documents.
Richey, who worked for Montgomery County's Job & Family Services, regularly called the regional dispatch center in the past two years with concerns about Custer and Nason and numerous complaints about the dogs running loose in the neighborhood. Many of the complaints, dating as far back as 2012, were called in by an anonymous female who said the dogs were loose and charged at her. Other complaints involved the dogs barking or not having adequate food.
"The dog has come after (the complainant) before and she states that now (the owner) will let his dog loose to go after her and her cats," the report states. The ARC employee who handled that report noted that ARC officials left a warning on the door of 35 E. Bruce after knocking and receiving no answer. They could hear a dog barking inside.
Friends of Richey described her as an animal lover and dedicated volunteer in Montgomery County's Republican Party.
Monday night, Ted Richey, of Indianapolis, said he tried for years to persuade his sister to move out of the neighborhood. He said his sister kept a large number of cats in her home, which brought her attention.
"She had a cat door, if they were outdoor cats they could come and go… Some neighbors, especially when houses are close together like that, don't appreciate that," Ted Richey said. "She had some run-ins with neighbors, but I certainly didn't expect anything like this to come of it.
"She considered it as much of the cat's house as it was hers. That was their home and there wasn't any reason she should leave just because some of the neighbors didn't like her cats. She could be stubborn in those kind of things," he said.
The autopsy on Klonda Richey was performed Saturday by the coroner's office, which said Monday that she died of blood loss.
"The injuries were severe and multiple," Coroner Kent Harshbarger said. "This is one of the worst that we've ever seen."
The crime lab is working to match dental impressions left on the body with the teeth of the two dogs. Their carcasses have been preserved as evidence.
"We want to be able to say without a doubt, these two animals were involved, and that both animals were involved and not just one," Harshbarger said.
The licensed dogs belonged to Custer, who lived at the single-family home at 35 E. Bruce Ave. with Nason, according to police.
Said Blommel of Nason: "He is just as responsible for them as she is."
Owners have the responsibility to make sure their dogs are confined and that they abide by licensing and restraining laws, said Blommel, who noted the fencing at 35 E. Bruce was not secure.
Tom Hagel, a professor with the University of Dayton School of Law, said fatal dog bite cases are rare and the prosecution is likely taking extra time to make sure they have the correct charges before proceeding. "The problem is, in cases that are based on reckless behavior, you as a prosecutor have to be able to prove that the defendants knew or had very good reason to know, in this case, that their dogs were a threat to the community and didn't take appropriate actions," he said.
Blommel said the nature of a call about an animal will determine who responds to the complaint.
Published: Friday, March 23, 2018 @ 7:31 PM
Updated: Saturday, March 24, 2018 @ 3:35 AM
DAYTON — UPDATE @ 3:05 a.m.:
The man who said he shot himself Friday night in Dayton has been identified.
David Metcalf, 51, said he shot himself in the arm at his residence in the 2800 block of East Third Street then ran to his mother’s house, according to police.
Police recovered ammunition and suspected cocaine at Metcalf’s home following further investigation, a release stated.
It remains unknown if the man did shoot himself.
FIRST REPORT (Fri.):
A man who was shot in the arm tonight ran inside his mother’s house.
Police and medics were called around 6:35 p.m. to the 3100 block of East Third Street after a woman said her son was shot and was bleeding profusely.
He was taken by medics to Miami Valley Hospital with injuries that were not life-threatening, police said.
The man told police he shot himself in the 2800 block of East Third Street, according to the Montgomery County Regional Dispatch Center. The area outside a home near the corner of East Third and Jersey streets was surrounded in yellow police tape.
The man’s name and age were not available.
A woman inside a residence where the shooting happened had a broken nose, and police said it’s under investigation whether the man shot himself.
Published: Friday, March 23, 2018 @ 11:12 PM
DAYTON — Crews were called late Friday night to a fire at a vacant house.
Flames were shooting from the two-story house when crews were called around 11 p.m. to 917 Lorain Ave.
We are on the way and will update this report as we learn details.
Got a tip? Call our 24-hour monitored line, 937-259-2237, or send it to email@example.com
Published: Friday, March 23, 2018 @ 11:53 PM
JEFFERSON TWP. — Police are searching for a suspect who stabbed a man Friday night as he was was walking on Maeder Avenue.
The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office was dispatched around 9:35 p.m. to the 20 block of Maeder Avenue, just off West Third St.
The victim was taken to Miami Valley Hospital. The stab would is not life-threatening, deputies said.
The incident remains under investigation.
Published: Friday, March 23, 2018 @ 9:35 AM
Updated: Friday, March 23, 2018 @ 9:00 PM
BUTLER COUNTY — UPDATE @ 9 p.m.
The owner of two emaciated dogs was arrested Friday night and charged with animal cruelty, according to Butler County Dog Warden & Humane Officers.
The “finder” of the dogs turned out to be the owner of the two female dogs that were brought Thursday morning by animal control officers to the Animal Friends Humane Society.
Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones identified 42-year-old Brian Trauthwein as the owner of the two dogs: Porche, a fawn/white boxer; and Chloe, a black/white pit bull mix.
The Butler County Dog Warden & Humane Officers are reaching out to the community via Facebook to find the owners of two emaciated dogs.
The two dogs are female and appear to be older. One of the two appears to be extremely malnourished. They were found Thursday in the 1000 Block of Franklin Street in Hamilton.
“These dogs are safe at the Humane Society and are receiving medical treatment, but they have a long way to go,” the warden posted to Facebook.
One of the dogs needs timed feeding and monitoring and is receiving special treatment and care at the home of a deputy dog warden, the post said.
Those who feel they have information on who the owner is of either dog are asked to contact Supervisor Kurt Merbs at 513-785-6542.