Richard Darter (51, of Carroll County, Indiana) was sentenced in court Tuesday for his liability in the dog bite case of Rebekah Forgey and Isabella George. Rebekah and Isabella suffered dog bite injuries from four pit-bulls that were owned by Darter at the time. The incident occurred in October of 2015, when the two women were walking east together on County Road 225. The dog bite attack left Forgey in serious condition at an Indianapolis hospital for 10 days following the attack. During that time, Forgey underwent several skin-grafts on both her right leg and her head.
The two women were rescued by an unnamed passing driver, who ushered them into the car while calling 911. The driver was about 20 miles outside of Lafayette when she spotted the girls being attacked in a nearby field. Darter had attempted to stop the attack, but in the process, suffered dog bite injuries similar in severity to George’s.
Darter was originally scheduled to appear before the Carroll County Superior Court on April 4th. When Darter failed to show for his sentencing however, the presiding judge issued an arrest warrant. Carroll County Jail officials report that Darter was detained a week later in Kokomo and transported to the jail later that day.
According to local authorities, this was not the first time Darter’s pit bulls had gotten him into hot water. Darter had been issued multiple citations for permitting the dogs to wander off the property in previous incidents. Darter was sentenced to a total of eight years, four of which will be served in prison, while the remaining years were suspended. Darter will also be required by court order to pay restitution to both victims. The four pit-bulls in question were put down immediately after the attack.
Unfortunately, attacks such as these are not uncommon. In 2015, there were more than 34 fatal dog bite injuries reported in the United States alone. This number does not account for the remaining 4+ million non-lethal dog bites in the US for which 800K+ Americans seek medical intervention and over half of these are children.