Thursday, September 20, 2007

Constable attacked by pit bull

TENNESSEE -- A Dyer County constable attempting to serve a civil warrant was seriously injured by a pit bull on Tuesday.

James Murphy was serving papers at 806 Phillips St. at about 4:12 p.m. when the attack occurred.

"I'm a lucky man," said Murphy. "It could have been a whole lot worse than what it was."

Sixteen stitches were used to sew up the inch-deep tear in his upper left thigh, he said.

The attack occurred as Murphy walked to the back door of the residence.

"There was a little black dog there, and I was talking to him," said Murphy. "Then from nowhere this big pit bull charges at me. Doesn't make a sound. And he starts biting."

Murphy said he fell back from the dog and furiously began moving back on his elbows and using his good leg to kick away from the dog. The dog lunged at him, he said, but was restrained by a chain.

"If that chain wasn't there, he would have come after me," said Murphy. "It started barking after it saw it couldn't get me."

Murphy said he thinks his injury is from one tooth ripping into him before he fell back.

According to dispatch reports, Murphy, who was unarmed and didn't have his radio on his person, limped to his truck and radioed for help. Constable James Sansom, who was at the Dyer County Courthouse when the plea was broadcast, was the first on the scene and called for an ambulance. The two were planning to meet to travel to Jackson for law enforcement training later that day, Murphy said.

The Dyersburg Regional Medical Center ambulance arrived at 4:23 p.m. and began first aid on Murphy's injured leg. Murphy was able to drive himself to the emergency room, where he was treated and released.

"By the grace of God, that dog was on a chain,' said Murphy. "Otherwise, I probably wouldn't be here."

The dog was taken to the Dyer County Humane Society for observation.

Charges have not been filed in the case.

(Dyersburg State Gazette - September 19, 2007)