PSO: Disabled man in Zephyrhills attacked by dogs and dog owners
Dog owners arrested for abusing a disabled adult
4:59 AM, Jul 31, 2013
8:19 AM, Jul 31, 2013
ZEPHYRHILLS, Fla. - "I was very very very fearful," Harold Underwood stammered.
It can be hard for Underwood, 42, to express himself. He says he had a stroke 10 years ago that severely impacted his speech and left his legs completely useless.
He now gets by on an electric wheelchair.
On Monday, as he does most days, he was riding his wheelchair to the bus stop. In his Zephyrhills trailer park, the way to get there is down a dirt road where he passes by 4033 Edwin Drive. According to an incident report by the Pasco Sheriff's Office, they breed pit bulls at that address. There are currently six pit bulls living there.
"This man was apparently just driving by on the right-of-the-way in his wheelchair and was attacked," said spokesman for the Pasco Sheriff's Office Kevin Doll. "Once we responded, we found out that not only had the dogs possibly attacked him, but the owners of the dogs had as well."
According to Underwood, multiple pit bulls got loose on Monday and charged at him aggressively. He says he fought back with his cane. That's when, according to the incident report, the two dog owners, Dannie Rayford Jr. and Brandi Page, got involved.
Deputies say Rayford yelled at Underwood to "get off my property." They say he then grabbed the front of Underwood's wheelchair and tried to dump him onto the ground. Rayford's girlfriend, Page, noticed Underwood was trying to call 911. According to deputies, she grabbed Underwood's arm, trying to stop him.
Underwood still has a sizeable scratch on his shoulder.
"I'm a sitting target in my chair," he said. "There's no way I can defend myself when I'm sitting in that chair."
Both Rayford and Page were arrested for abusing a disabled adult. They have each since been released on a $5,000 bond.
Rayford told ABC Action News Tuesday evening that neither of them ever touched Underwood. He said the scratch on Underwood's shoulder probably came from his own cane.
Multiple neighbors said they've had to call Animal Control because of the pit bulls on that property. Animal Control said they would not be able to confirm if that was true until Wednesday.