At approximately 11:18 a.m., Lakeland Electric employee, Linda Dionne, 59, was at a home located at 941 Fish Hatchery Road when a dog attacked her. She hit the panic button on her radio to call for help, which alerted the Lakeland Police Department communication center.
Deputies with the Polk County Sheriff's Office responded to the scene and when they arrived, the dog was still mauling Dionne. The deputy was able to get the dog off her, but it started to attack the deputy. The deputy shot and killed the dog.
At that time, another dog aggressively approached the deputies and a Lakeland Officer. Shots were fired at the dog and it retreated under the home.
OWNER DOESN'T ACCEPT BLAME
"There could have been another way than to kill my children's dog," said Alex Hill, one of the dog's owners.
Hill said the family's dog, Sofia, a three-year-old rose nose pit bull, did not deserve to die.
"She's an amazing dog, she's protective of her family and her domain and I feel like she was doing what she felt was right," said Hill.
The second dog was taken into custody by animal control
Dionne was transported to Lakeland Regional Medical Center with serious lacerations to her arms and legs. Her family told ABC Action News Monday night that she was too shaken up to speak about what happened.
The owner of the dogs, Matthew Overton, 21, has been arrested and charged for not properly securing the dog and not properly posting his property.
The dog had already been declared "dangerous" by animal control.
In 2016, the dog aggressively attacked a person who had to run to a car for safety. He managed to get away with the dog only getting mouthfuls of his pants.
"I told Polk County in June this was going to happen again," said Pat Jeffries.
Jeffries called 9-1-1 after Sofia attempted to attack her more than a mile from the dog's home.
"When they have been deemed dangerous already by the county and they're not taking the precautions, then they're not good parents for their dogs," said Jeffries.
"Pit bull type dog viciously attacks Lakeland Electric employee"
Polk County Sheriff's Office detectives are investigating a dog attack on a Lakeland Electric employee that occurred this morning at approximately 11:18 a.m. at 941 Fish Hatchery Road, Lakeland. Deputies responded assisting the Lakeland Police Department - the address is in the unincorporated area.
The Lakeland Electric employee, 59-year-old Ms. Linda Dionne of Lakeland, activated the emergency button on her radio. Lakeland Electric and the Lakeland Police Department attempted to raise Ms. Dionne on the radio, but did not get a response. The Lakeland Police Department responded and asked the PCSO to also respond because it was in the unincorporated area.
When a deputy arrived, he discovered an active dog attack/mauling in progress occurring on the front porch of the home. The deputy was able to get the dog off of Ms. Dionne; the dog then turned on the deputy to attack him. The deputy shot and killed the attacking dog. Another aggressive pit bull type dog was in the yard - it later menacingly approached responding law enforcement officers. Two deputies and one Lakeland Police Department shot at the dog. The shots missed the dog and it ran under the house.
The second dog was later safely taken into custody and taken to the animal control facility. It was not injured.
21-year-old Matthew Overton, who resides at 941 Fish Hatchery Road, arrived at the location. He was later arrested and charged with FSS 767.13(2), a 3rd degree felony (when a declared dangerous dog attacks or bites a person, the dog owner is held accountable). Overton was not properly securing the dog and the property was not properly posted.
The pit bull type dog had been declared dangerous by animal control stemming from a June 27, 2016 incident where the dog in question was aggressively menacing a person, biting the pants of a person who was unable to get into the home and had to retreat to a car at the 941 Fish Hatchery Road home.
Ms. Dionne was treated at the scene and transported to Lakeland Regional Health Medical Center. She had serious lacerations to both arms and legs from dog bites. She has received treatment for her injuries and is expected to be released from the hospital later today.
Readers like Brittany Dougherty and Chelsea Chancey are blaming the victim: