Victim of Schenectady dog attack files suit
City, landlord among those named
SCHENECTADY A woman seriously mauled by three pit bulls in August 2011 in Hamilton Hill has now filed suit against the dogs’ owner, landlord and the city of Schenectady, alleging all three had notice of the dogs’ prior vicious behavior but took no action to prevent it.
Shirleen Lucas filed suit last week in state Supreme Court in Schenectady County, seeking unspecified damages from all three.
Lucas was attacked Aug. 22, 2011 as she was running predawn errands on Hulett Street. The attack left Lucas facing a series of surgeries to repair her appearance and left initial wounds that required 200 stitches to close. Family members have said the process of surgeries resulting from the wounds could take as long as two years to complete.
The basis for the claim against the city dates back more than a year before the Lucas attack, to April 2010. Then, Jasmine Tirado, the dogs’ owner, was cited by the city when one of the dogs got loose and attacked another dog.
“The defendant, Schenectady Police Department, took no action to mitigate the existence of the dangerous animals despite knowing the risk that they presented to the pedestrians and public,” the Lucas suit reads.
Tirado was cited in that case, but never showed up for court, authorities have said. It was only after the August 2011 attack on Lucas that authorities returned to the old case.
Tirado, 21, wrapped up both the August 2011 and April 2010 accusations of harboring dangerous dogs in a plea earlier this year. For both, she was sentenced to 30 days in jail and fined $2,200. The sentence, city officials said then, was the longest in memory for a dangerous dog case. It was also appropriate considering Tirado’s history, officials said.
City officials this week said they had yet to be served with the suit and declined to comment. The suit was filed Nov. 16.
Also named as defendants are Tirado and Kamie Harrypersaud. Harrypersaud is identified as the owner of Tirado’s apartment house on Hulett Street.
When Lucas was attacked, neighbors heard her anguished screams and called police. Officers found the badly injured woman on the sidewalk surrounded by three dogs, which apparently escaped from the rear of Tirado’s property. Police had to use Tasers to subdue the animals.
Tirado emerged from the home to get the dogs but later surrendered them to the city’s animal control officer. All three were later destroyed.
Lucas needed more than 200 stitches to close her wounds, including staples where her scalp was pulled back. She lost sections of both ears and sustained wounds to both her legs and arms. Family members have said Lucas has been doing well, considering the circumstances, but still faces a series of surgeries.
Lucas is seeking damages for personal injuries arising from negligence, as well as nuisance. She is represented by attorney Kristie Halloran Hanson. Hanson could not be reached.