Maurice Brown, 60, died of blood loss on April 25, 2017 after being attacked by a pit bull in the Old Dayton View neighborhood, the Dayton Daily News reported. After nearly two years, the city’s police chief has finally apologized to Brown’s family for the officers’ poor handling of the incident, calling their inaction unacceptable.
“On behalf of the Dayton Police Department, I extend our sincere condolences to family and friends of Maurice Brown for the personal loss of their loved one resulting from this incident,” Police Chief Richard Biehl said last Thursday, adding that the officers actions “were not aligned with the mission, the core values or the training of the” Dayton PD.
The apology came shortly after Dayton man Anthony D. Austin, who had failed to keep corralled the dog responsible for Brown’s death, was sentenced to 100 days in jail on a misdemeanor charge, according to local station WHIO-TV 7. A jury convicted Austin on the charge back in February during his trial.
The penalty stands in sharp contrast to those handed in some other fatal dog mauling cases, especially that of victim Diane Whipple, a woman’s lacrosse coach who was killed by two large Presa Canario dogs in her San Francisco apartment building in 2001. The co-owner of the dogs, attorney Marjorie Knoller, was convicted of second-degree murder in that case, and her husband was convicted of involuntary manslaughter for leaving the dogs with his wife while knowing she could not control them.
In his remarks the Dayton man’s death, Biehl apologized to Brown’s family for what he said was a clear “neglect of of duty for failing to provide immediate medical attention” to the injured man. Police dash cam video played at Austin’s jury trial earlier this year showed neither responding officers, Daniel Hartings and Scott Pendley, go over to check on Brown’s bloodied body for nine long minutes, the station reported.
“Officers Pendley and Hartings had an obligation to render aid consistent with their first aid training to Mr. Brown as quickly as possible,” Lt. Kimberly Hill, former commander of the department’s Professional Standards Bureau, wrote in the findings of an internal affairs probe released on Thursday. “Mr. Brown was basically left in the condition in which he was found. That obligation was neglected.”
The city finally made the reports public after repeated requests by the Dayton Daily News and WHIO-TV.
Dayton police Sgt. Michael Pauley, the responding officers’ supervisor, said that he was “horrified” after viewing cruiser camera footage of the tragic incident. Brown had suffered multiple bites to his arms and legs, and eventually died from his injuries.
“I didn’t go to sleep the next day after watching it,” Pauley told internal affairs detectives at the time. “I couldn’t believe what I had watched.”
According to the report, the police supervisor also expressed worry about what the video might do the department, as there was no way to explain why the officers took several minutes to come to Brown’s aid.
Pendley and Hartings arrived to find the man lying in the street in a pool of blood just after 5 a.m. on April 25. That’s when Pendley flashed his cruiser’s lights and blared the car horn in an attempt to scare the dog away. The officer said he later saw Brown, 62, make a slight move, suggesting he may have still been alive, the internal affairs report revealed.
At 5:01 a.m., the two officers discussed shooting the pit bull and radioed for a sergeant, though they were unsure of their exact location. It wasn’t until two minutes later, at 5:03 a.m., that Hartings called for a medic. According to the report, Pendley stayed close to the patrol car and called out to Brown, saying: “Sir. Sir. Sir?”
Pendley finally checked Brown’s condition at 5:09 a.m., per records included in the internal affairs investigation. A medic arrived at 5:15 a.m. to find the man in cardiac arrest and left the scene at 5:22 a.m., records indicate.
By 5:55 a.m., Hartings had fatally shot the 67-pound dog.
Pendley retired three weeks following the incident, and therefore was not interviewed for the department’s investigation, Biehl said on Thursday. Meanwhile, Hartings was issued a training memo for “neglect of duty” after failing to provide immediate medical attention, however, the police chief said he could face more severe punishment.
It was last week that Biehl said he called Brown’s mother to apologize for the first time.
“I expressed deep regret that our response was not better than it was,” he told the Dayton Daily News. “It was not in the priority that should have been in terms of responding to his immediate aid and if there’s a threat by the dog, neutralize the threat.”
Watch more in the video below.