Many questions in Dalton dog-attack case

Saturday October 13, 2012

DALTON -- The police investigation into a dog attack that left a 45-year-old man with face, arm and leg injuries on Thursday is still in the early stages with more questions than answers, according to police.

Sean Latura was attacked by two dogs that apparently escaped from an apartment on Gertrude Street in Dalton on Thursday afternoon. One of the dogs was shot and killed by police at the scene, while the second was taken to a local dog shelter for state-mandated observation.

As of Friday, the Dalton Police were still trying to determine whether Latura lived in the apartment building or was merely visiting a friend who did.

Latura remains at Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield. Dalton Police Chief Jeffrey E. Coe wasn't sure of his condition on Friday.

Coe said Latura suffered bites to the eye and face as well as to his arm and leg.

The dogs are owned by Molly Montemagni, 29, of Gertrude Street, Dalton, according to police. Coe said they were finally able to get in touch with her Friday morning at about 10:15.

The police are still trying to determine how the animals got out.

"There were no visible signs of forced entry [into the apartment] -- nothing looked pried, kicked or forced," said the chief.

The police were also still trying to discern whether the outside door was open or closed or locked or unlocked at the time the dogs got out.

"We know [the dogs] did get through screen door" that's also part of the entrance, he said.

According to Coe, his department is still in the early stages of the investigation and were looking into all the possibilities of how the attack may have occurred.

Coe said they would have a better idea of events once they were able to take all the witness statements.

The dogs were up to date on their vaccinations, but police still hadn't been provided proof on Friday that the animals were licensed in Dalton, said the chief.

The police had yet to identify which of the two female dogs -- Catie, listed as a pit bull-type dog, or Clout, a mutt -- was killed by officers due to her aggressive behavior.

"The owner wasn't at the scene and hasn't identified which dog was put down," said the chief.

The dog that was captured is currently at the Eleanor Sonsini Animal Shelter under quarantine.

To reach Andrew Amelinckx:,
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