Crime

Man, woman charged in dog mauling that left Arlington man without ears

Milton Sturges was attacked by two dogs on Wednesday in Arlington.
Milton Sturges was attacked by two dogs on Wednesday in Arlington. Photo provided by Omar Sturges

A man and woman were charged in connection with a dog mauling in Arlington that severely injured a man in September.

Arlington police charged Lerondrick D. Taylor, 37, and Michelle N. Taylor, 39, with attack by dog on Friday.

Lerondrick Taylor was already in Tarrant County jail on unrelated charges and Michelle Taylor turned herself in to the Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office Friday, Arlington police said in a press release Saturday.

On Sept. 26, Milton Sturges was attacked by two dogs while handing out fliers. Police were called to the 2300 block of Cripple Creek Drive when someone reported Sturges was being attacked. A responding officer was forced to shoot both dogs, who were on top of Sturges and mauling him.

Sturges was hospitalized with serious injuries. His cousin, Omar Sturges, said Milton Sturges lost both his ears, and his nose and bottom lip were partially torn off from the attack.

According to arrest affidavits for Lerondrick and Michelle Taylor, they both knew the dogs showed aggressive behavior and were able to escape from the yard.

The two dogs were described by police as blue pit-bills, one male and one female. According to the Taylors, the male dog was named Drank and the female was named Bossy. The Taylors told police Bossy was in heat, causing Drank to become more aggressive and possessive of her.

On Oct. 3, when a SWAT team entered the Taylors’ house, a blue, male pit bull ran out the front door, bit a neighbor’s dog and ran away. A woman at the house first said the dog’s name was Drank, then admitted its name was actually Crucial.

Police said in the affidavit this was consistent with what a tipster had told them, which was that the Taylors were going to try and use Crucial as a stand-in for Drank to explain why it could not have been their dogs involved in the attack.

During a search of the Taylors’ home, police found large holes in the fence, some of which had been covered by large buckets.

In an interview with police on Oct. 9, Lerondrick Taylor referred to Drank as “his son” and said he and Michelle Taylor had been trying to breed Drank and Bossy. He showed an officer scars where Drank had bit him before. He said the dogs had probably escaped through a hole in the fence.

On Oct. 22, police interviewed Michelle Taylor, who said she noticed the dogs were missing and posted about them on Facebook for help. When she saw the news story about the attack, she deleted the post and her account.

During the interview, Michelle Taylor “determined that she needed to accept responsibility for the offense and appeared to express remorse for what happened to the victim,” according to the affidavit.

According to police, the charges were the result of an extensive investigation over the past several weeks and multiple tipsters provided information that assisted in the dog owners’ arrests.

“Dog owners have a responsibility to maintain proper control and security of their animals. We were able to bring appropriate justice to this family who was grateful for the assistance and compassion that our investigative team brought to this case,” Police Chief Will Johnson said in the press release.

Sturges had to undergo several surgeries after the attack, Arlington police said in the release. A GoFundMe page for Sturges, who had no medical insurance, raised nearly $20,000.

Kaley Johnson: 817-390-7028, @KaleyJohnson6
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