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Mother Unleashes Dog on Social Worker
March 26, 2010 permalink
Louisiana mother Daphne M Bailey, who had been repeatedly harassed by social services, finally had enough and unleashed her dog when a social worker called. The social worker required medical treatment, and Bailey has been charged under a law that treats attacks on social workers the same as attacks on the police.
Social Services reviewing dog attack
Department officials want owner prosecuted under 2005 law
State Department of Social Services officials said Wednesday they were continuing to review an incident in which a Ouachita Parish case worker was attacked in West Monroe by an angry dog owned by a woman who had made threats against the department.
Department officials said they want the woman who was charged with aggravated battery in the incident, Daphne M. Bailey, to face a stiffer penalty under a 2005 law that sought to protect child welfare workers.
Bailey, 40, of 205 S. Fourth St., was charged Monday by West Monroe police with aggravated battery for the attack, which occurred around 3 p.m. In the arrest affidavit, police said the case worker went to Bailey's home to check on the safety of a child.
The arrest affidavit said the victim told police she frequents Bailey's home multiple times a year and has to enter the yard through a side gate because the front door is bolted.
Once inside the gate, police said, the case worker saw the angry dog, which was on a chain. The affidavit said Bailey unchained the dog, which attacked the case worker, and did not attempt to restrain the dog or help the worker during the attack.
The dog was described as a dark colored "chow" breed.
Bond was set at $10,000 for Bailey. The case worker was treated at St. Francis Medical Center for three bite wounds that required stitches. Social Services officials said the case worker, who had been on the job about a year, had not returned to work Wednesday.
In a prepared statement released Wednesday, Department of Social Services Secretary Kristy Nichols urged law enforcement officers to charge Bailey under a 2005 law that made attacks on case workers punishable by the same standards as attacks on police officers. That law imposes a fine of $500 and imprisonment of not less than 15 days and not more than 90 days. In addition, the law says that battery resulting in injury to a child welfare worker requiring medical attention imposes fines of up to $1,000 and imprisonment of one to five years.
Trey Williams, spokesman for Social Services in Baton Rouge, said the department has made no decision about changing its practices about visiting homes that might present dangerous settings. He said Social Services had not had a problem of this magnitude before with Bailey.
But the police report said "Bailey has been very angry with Social Services, making many recent threats toward the Social Services Office."
Williams said the child is in a safe environment.
Williams said case workers routinely encounter dangerous situations and are no strangers to threats. He said individual case workers make decisions about how to handle situations based on their own experience. He said case workers sometimes ask police to accompany them to the homes. The decision to enter Bailey's yard, Williams said, was up to the case worker, who Williams said is trained in identifying dangerous situations.
"We are constantly looking at different ways to make it safer for staff members. We provide them with cell phones and with computer access," he said. "In addition, we have great support from the law enforcement community. Numerous times, we have had to have law enforcement accompany us into homes."
Also, when case workers suspect danger might occur on a visit, they can require families to visit the Social Services office.
Williams said about a year ago in Bastrop, two case workers went to a home to check on a child's welfare when the mother left the room, ostensibly to get the child's clothing. When the mother returned, she had a gun. The case workers grabbed the child and fled without injury.
The department believes that incident was the first that was prosecuted using the 2005 law.
Source: Monroe News-Star
Addendum: Not guilty.
Woman acquitted in case of dog biting social worker
A woman accused of releasing a dog that attacked a State Department of Social Services case worker was found not guilty by a 4th Judicial District Court jury Wednesday.
Daphne M. Bailey of West Monroe was arrested in March by West Monroe police on one count of aggravated battery.
According to police reports, the case worker went to Bailey's house to check on the safety of a child. The case worker told police she frequented Bailey's home multiple times and has to enter the yard through a side gate because the front door is bolted.
Once the case worker was inside the fence, she saw a dog on a chain. The victim told police Bailey unchained the dog and it attacked her and Bailey did nothing to restrain the dog during the attack.
The dog was described as a dark colored "chow" breed. The victim was treated at a local hospital for three bite wounds that required stitches.
Social Services also reported the woman had made threats to the department before and pushed to have Bailey prosecuted under a 2005 law that made attacks on case workers punishable by the same standards as attacks on police officers.
Local attorney Charles Kincade served as the lead attorney on the case and said he is pleased with the result.
"Mrs. Bailey was facing serious prison time had she been convicted," Kincade said. "It is important to remember just because someone is accused of something doesn't mean they are guilty."
Source: Monroe News-Star