Dog kills woman

Published 11:00 pm Wednesday, August 26, 2015

A dog killed a woman near Cooleemee Monday evening, and another woman was sent to the hospital for treatment of dog bite wounds.

The first call to 911 came in just after 7 p.m. Someone had driven by 243 Clark Road and noticed a woman lying in the yard.

Another neighbor heard that call on a police scanner, and walked to the house to investigate when she, too, was attacked.

Cathy Elaine Wheatcraft, 48, was pronounced dead at the scene. The neighbor, Shenna D. Truesdale, 31, was taken to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center for treatment of injuries.

The dog was killed by Cooleemee Police Sgt. Brent C. Cranford.

Because the scene is in Davie County, the sheriff’s department was called, and a deputy requested help from Cooleemee police because they were closer to the scene.

Cranford was the first to the scene. He saw a pit bull biting a woman in the back seat of the car. That woman, Truesdale, had tried to escape the attack by getting into the car, but the dog followed.

Cranford shot the dog in the mid-section, and it let go of the woman and ran under a porch. Cranford reported that when he approached the dog, it began growling at him and he shot it twice in the face, killing it.

“The dog was biting her and pulling her out of the vehicle,” Cranford said.

Wheatcraft had apparently gone to check her mail when she was attacked, as mail was strewn across the scene. It appeared she was trying to reach her house and made it as far as the steps before she was pulled back into the yard, said Cooleemee Police Chief Bobby West.

It isn’t law enforcement’s first encounter with the pit bull. The dog, owned by Latisha Young of Clark Road, had been declared a nuisance by Davie Animal Control. Sheriff’s Chief J.D. Hartman said they had reports of the dog attacking other animals, but never a human. The investigation is continuing and the district attorney’s office will decide whether to pursue charges against Young.

Hartman said Young was not at home at the time, and the dog had escaped from her house through a window.