MYRTLE POINT, Ore. – Coos County District Attorney Paul Frasier is shedding light on a fatal dog attack in Myrtle Point on Friday.
Frasier said the dog, a 120 pound pit bull and American bulldog mix, had a history of attacks prior to the recent incident. Officials believe the dog had attacked two children in Springfield in July.
Investigators are piecing together how the dog came to be at 42-year-old Amber LaBelle’s home on Spruce Street. The dog's owner, Springfield resident Sara Nicholes, had reportedly left her dog in the care of Jeremy Robertson, who was at LaBelle’s home. He left the dog at her apartment to run errands, and it had been shut away in a bedroom, Frasier said.
That’s when authorities say LaBelle’s ex-boyfriend, Josef Dieckman, brought over their two children for a visit. At about 10 a.m., LaBelle opened the door to the bedroom and was attacked by the dog. One of her children was able to go get help from neighbors.
Frasier said one of the neighbors pulled the dog off LaBelle and another pulled her away. When the officer arrived, the dog began pulling away from the neighbor toward LaBelle and the officer, who shot and killed it, according to the report.
The 8-year-old and the 5-year-old witnessed the whole thing.
Dieckman told KEZI he's certain there's no way she knew about the dog's past.
"There is no way, even if she was watching it, that she would've voluntarily and knowingly allowed a vicious dog, a violent dog, into her space not only with the kids there but around herself," Dieckman said.
LaBelle was flown to RiverBend Hospital in Springfield where she died on Saturday.
Frasier said the case is still under investigation and anyone with information should contact the Myrtle Point Police Department. Once the investigation is completed, Frasier said he will present the case to the Coos County Grand Jury to determine if any criminal charges should be filed.