Man's guilty plea in pit bull attack second for family
VICTORVILLE • A man pleaded guilty this week to a July 4 pit bull attack, marking the second conviction in three months involving his family’s four pit bulls.
Meanwhile, the dogs remain nowhere to be found, Barstow Police Department Sgt. Andy Espinoza Jr. confirmed Friday.
Daniel Connelly entered into a plea bargain and was sentenced Tuesday to 16 months in prison for owning a mischievous animal causing great bodily injury, court records show.
Authorities said they were called to the intersection of Mountain View and Elm streets on July 4 after three of the dogs attacked a man and caused him to fall down an embankment.
The same charge levied against Connelly’s father was dismissed Friday, according to court records.
On July 1, 51-year-old Cheryl Morrow — Connelly’s mother — was sentenced to two years in jail after pleading guilty to the same charge in a separate incident.
Morrow was arrested on May 19 at Barstow Junior High School following a bizarre sequence of events.
After one of the four dogs bit a juvenile in his right thigh area, Morrow loaded them all in her vehicle and tried to drive away, according to previous law enforcement reports.
The victim was later treated at Barstow Community Hospital and released, police said.
A friend of the victim, 19-year-old Michael Levens, was riding his bicycle nearby at the time and attempted to intervene.
Levens placed his bike near the rear driver-side tire of Morrow’s vehicle to prevent her from leaving before she allegedly sped off and nearly hit him, according to previous reports.
Morrow was arrested less than two hours later in the 600 block of Elm Street.
The dogs had long been a nuisance to the family’s neighbors on Elm Street, but the incident at BJHS was the first reported occurrence of one of the dogs biting a human, an official from the Barstow Humane Society previously said.
Animal Control Officer Chris Schreiner had told the Desert Dispatch he believed the dogs to be dangerous. However, a manager no longer with the local humane society didn’t request a vicious dog abatement hearing at the time.
Such a hearing can lead to a dog being euthanized if it’s proven to be a threat.
Connelly’s sentence will run concurrent to another of the same length. He also pleaded guilty Tuesday to evading a peace officer from an incident on Sept. 18, according to court records.
He was credited 30 days for time served and good behavior.
Shea Johnson may be reached at (760) 256-4126 or at SJohnson@DesertDispatch.com.