October 16, 2018
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Pit bull that killed Bangor boy had vicious history

Courtesy of the Mcclure family
Courtesy of the Mcclure family
Hunter Bragg

CORINNA, Maine — The pit bull that took the life of a Bangor boy a week ago had a history of attacks, according to the Corinna animal control officer’s report filed in the deadly attack.

The adult male pit bull named Koda attacked 7-year-old Hunter Bragg of Bangor by the throat while the boy played outside with two other children on June 4 at the home of Gary Merchant Jr. at 207 Moody’s Mills Road.

“Dog [and] child left alone, dog attacked, child died on scene,” the animal control officer’s report released Friday states.

The 1½-year-old multicolored dog was not provoked in the attack that took place at around 5:15 p.m., the report states. Charles Gould is the animal control officer, but it’s not clear whether he filled out the report filed with the town.

The dog formerly lived in Vermont with a relative of Merchant and was registered there until the end of 2015. The dog was brought to Maine a couple of months ago, after it attacked one of her other pets.

“[It] attacked her other dog. Several times,” is written on the bottom of the front page of the report. Several message left for Merchant’s relative for comment have not been returned. Bragg lived with his grandmother, the report states.

Corinna Town Manager Serena Bemis-Goodall said the pit bull was not registered with the town, but all seven of Merchant’s other dogs are registered. The only dog-related complaints town officials have dealt with at Merchant’s property have had to do with noise, she added.

The Penobscot County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the death. Sheriff Troy Morton said earlier this week that the dog’s history is a major part of the investigation.

“These are all things that would be looked at during the investigation,” Morton said Friday in an email. “The fact is the same regarding who was inside and outside the residence,” he said in response to questions about where Bragg’s father was when the attack happened.

The pit bull was euthanized at Merchant’s request after the deadly attack, Morton said. The report states Detective Bill Flagg is the lead investigator in the criminal investigation.

The U.S. saw 34 dog bite-related fatalities in 2015, and pit bulls contributed to 28, which is 82 percent of the total, according to Dogsbite.org. The term “pit bull” refers to three breeds: the American pit bull terrier, American Staffordshire terrier and Staffordshire bull terrier.

Bragg’s aunt set up a GoFundMe post for funeral expenses.

A memorial service to celebrate his life is scheduled for 1 p.m. Saturday at the Hermon Baptist Church, located at 2496 Route 2, with the Rev. Garnett Chute officiating, according to his obituary.

 


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