Schenectady County

Court appearance delayed in case of dogs that savagely attacked woman

The woman attacked by three pit bulls last month continues her slow path to recovery as the dogs’ ow

The woman attacked by three pit bulls last month continues her slow path to recovery as the dogs’ owner delays her journey through the legal system.

Darcelle Lucas said Monday that her mother, Shirleen Lucas, had her stitches, which numbered nearly 200, removed last week, in a 21⁄2 hour procedure.

Meanwhile, the dogs’ alleged owner, Jasmine L. Tirado, 21, was to appear in court Monday, but the appearance was delayed until Sept. 21. She faces charges of harboring dangerous dogs, which carries a potential penalty of up to 90 days in jail upon conviction.

City Corporation Counsel L. John Van Norden, whose office is prosecuting Tirado, said he wasn’t surprised by Monday’s delay. Tirado needs an attorney because potential jail time is involved.

He said he’s also told his prosecutor to seek a penalty that is consistent with the offense. “This is not your average dog attack,” Van Norden said. “This is very, very serious.”

Van Norden also said Tirado faces a dangerous dog charge from 2010. That charge was never resolved because she failed to show up for court then, he said. He did not have details on that case, and did not know if the dog or dogs involved then were the same ones involved in the Lucas attack.

Lucas was attacked by three pit bulls as she was running errands early Aug. 22 on Hulett Street. She required nearly 200 stitches to close injuries that ran nearly from head to toe.

The dogs were surrendered to authorities and destroyed.

In an unrelated incident a week later, a mail carrier in Mont Pleasant was bitten by one pit bull and chased by another. The U.S. Postal Service has stopped deliveries to that street in response to the mail carrier attack.

City officials are reviewing the city’s licensing and penalties for owners of aggressive pit bulls. Van Norden has said he would recommend banning all dogs deemed too dangerous by insurance companies.

Lucas, 58, is still suffering pain from the aftereffects of removing the stitches and staples, her daughter said.

She is expected to see another doctor soon about expected surgery to repair her appearance. The stitches criss-crossed her forehead and elsewhere. She also lost sections of both ears.

She continues to have trouble sleeping, the daughter said. Darcelle Lucas said she has been fortunate to be able to take time off from her day job at the Stratton Air National Guard base in Glenville to look after her mother.

“Her spirits are up and down,” Darcelle Lucas said, adding: “She’ll wake up in the middle of the night crying, thinking the dogs are still attacking her.”

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