DOT inspector burned by hot asphalt

Published 9:53 am Thursday, June 28, 2012

AHOSKIE – An employee of North Carolina DOT is undergoing treatment for burns at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital after stumbling into hot asphalt in an attempt to ward off an attacking dog here Tuesday morning.

Meanwhile, an Ahoskie pet owner faces a $500 fine under tough new animal control laws recently enacted by the town.

Ahoskie Police Chief Troy Fitzhugh said Rebecca Young, 29, of 414 North Academy Street was charged under the new ordinance, which also mandates that her dog, reportedly a Pit Bull, be quarantined by animal control for 10 days.

Fitzhugh said his department received a call around 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday concerning an individual bitten by a dog in the 400 block of North Academy Street. That entire street is currently in the final week of a major repaving project.

“From what we were able to learn after investigating what occurred, the dog had followed its owner out of her house at a time when the owner was in the process of leaving to take her sister to work,” Fitzhugh said. “We assume the dog slipped out behind her before she could do anything to prevent the dog from leaving the property.”

The DOT worker, who was inspecting the work of the paving contractor, was a short distance away from that particular residence.

“The dog then bit the worker,” Fitzhugh said. “Our report showed he suffered a minimum injury due to the bite. However, the major injury was when he lost his balance after being bit and fell into hot asphalt, suffering second degree burns to his hands and arms.”

Fitzhugh added that he spoke on Wednesday with the victim’s daughter, learning that the victim remains hospitalized.

Following that incident, the dog made its way to North Colony Street and attempted to attack another citizen in the driveway of their residence. Fitzhugh said that person was able to ward the dog off by using his feet (kicked the dog).

A short time later, Young, with assistance of APD officers, was able to corner the dog and place it on a leash.

Fitzhugh said these two incidents should serve as a reminder to local dog/cat owners that they are responsible for the actions of pets.

“They need to ensure their animals are secure, that would apply to dogs kept outside as well,” Fitzhugh stressed. “These types of incidents are occurring too frequently in my opinion and pet owners should do what is necessary to maintain control of their animals in regards to the safety of other citizens.”


About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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