TACOMA, WA – Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist will not file criminal charges against the owner of two dogs that attacked a Spanaway woman last year because the investigation did not yield evidence to support any criminal charges.
On Oct. 30, 2013, Nga Woodhead was walking along Pacific Avenue South in Spanaway when she was attacked by two pit bulls. The woman tried to fight off the dogs with her umbrella. A passer-by rushed to Woodhead’s aid, and shot one of the dogs. The second dog was shot by deputies who responded to the scene. Woodhead was transported to the hospital. One week after the attack, she died suddenly as she was preparing to be discharged from the hospital.
Pierce County Sheriff’s detectives investigated for two months following the incident. Detectives interviewed the dogs’ owner and neighbors to learn about the history of the dogs. Those statements, as well as police and medical examiner reports, were forwarded to the Prosecutor’s Office to be reviewed. Charges that were considered include felony crimes relating to owning dangerous dogs. Those crimes require prosecutors to prove the owner had prior knowledge the dogs were a danger to others. The investigation did not yield evidence to support this claim. Additionally, owning a specific breed of dog is not considered to be proof of prior knowledge. Therefore, there were no possible charges under current law.
Communications and Public Information Coordinator
Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office