Jeffrey Lastrapes Injured in Dog Attack in Lubbock, TX
Lubbock, TX -- April 23, 2022, Texas Tech professor Jeffrey Lastrapes was injured in a dog attack while walking his own dog in Lubbock.
Authorities say the incident occurred Saturday as Lastrapes walked his family's dog Scooter around the neighborhood. According to reports a pit bull appeared as Lastrapes rounded a corner into a local alley. The pit bull attacked Scooter immediately and also injured Lastrapes as he tried to intervene. Lastrapes later told the news that one or two other people also fought to pull the pit bull out of the fight but were largely unsuccessful until some damage was done. He also said this isn't the first time that particular dog has attacked someone in the neighborhood.
Scooter was fatally injured in the attack. Lastrapes received several wounds which may have become infected.
No further information is currently available.
Commentary on Jeffrey Lastrapes Dog Attack in Lubbock
This incident was serious enough that authorities seized the animal and euthanized it, which doesn't always happen after dog attacks. The fact that there were apparently prior incidents does make it seem like such consequences were warranted, sad as it always is to put an animal down. However, there could be more complex issues to consider as well. Even if the dog is no longer able to hurt anyone, that does little to help the injured victim heal from the damage done. Would the dog's owner be responsible for a victim's injuries? Texas has a unique law about that.
It's called the One Bite Rule. While not a formal statute, the generally-accepted rule says dog owners aren't typically liable for the damage done the first time their animal attacks someone. They get a "freebie" of sorts based on the idea they couldn't have known it was coming. Animals can be highly unpredictable, so a sudden attack isn't always reasonably preventable.
After the first incident, however, the risk becomes apparent. Owners must then take precautions to make sure no future attacks occur. If they fail to do anything, then they may be liable for future attacks. The victim told the news the pit bull had attacked people before, but it's not clear if there's any documented proof of that or complaints made to Animal Control about that dog. It's important to know if there's any known history of those attacks when finding ways to help the injured man, whose career as a cellist might be jeopardized by the damage he received, recover the best he can. I hope suitable steps are being taken to find all the relevant facts after this terrible incident.