The right call was made

Published 9:02 am Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Last week, Lawrence County Prosecutor Brigham Anderson announced that no charges would be pursued in a case involving Chesapeake Mayor Tommy Templeton and two neighbors.

Deputies had visited the home of Patricia and Elden White the week prior and had recommended cruelty to animals and aggravated menacing charges against Templeton, and had cited Elden White for allowing his pitbull to run loose.

The Whites said their dog had gotten loose and Templeton told deputies that it had mauled his cat in his backyard, leading to his striking it with a broomstick to separate the two.

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The charges were made after witnesses said they had seen Templeton strike the dog in the street and Mrs. White said Templeton had charged at her, waving the stick, which Templeton denied.

If Templeton’s cat had indeed been chased, it is reasonable to try to separate the two animals.

However, had the pursuit continued into the street after the incident, then this is where any justification could no longer apply. In short, if Templeton continued hitting the dog after separating his cat from harm, then he was wrong.

However, the Whites need to do a better job of keeping their pitbull chained or kept behind a fence.

Given that most of the basis for this case boiled down to differing accounts from both sides, with no hard evidence, Anderson likely made the correct choice in dropping charges against all parties involved.