Crime in Colleyville
Linda Baker Updated
06/09/13 04:57:25 PM
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March 02, 2008,
Mark D. Stokes, 54, of 5317 Rustic Trail in the Rustic Oaks subdivision was issued a citation for Dog At Large by Officer Gwen Parker at 5:55 PM on February 9, 2008. This was not the first loose dog violation received by the Stokes household. The family has a history of boarding "strays", including a Child Predator. Court Date on the citation is March 13, 2008 at 2:00 PM in Colleyville's Municipal Court.
As previously reported in Local News Only only on September 4, 2005:
This Colleyville family would do everyone a favor if they stopped taking in strays, man and beast alike,..the results is one in jail, a severely injured pet and the death to others because of their lack of responsibility to their neighbors and animals alike.
Judge James R. Ames presided over another Dangerous Dog trial in Colleyville's Municipal Court on Wednesday, August 31, 2005.
Mark and Melinda Stokes were accused of allowing two adopted canines to run loose and terrorize the Rustic Oaks neighborhood, culminating in an unprovoked attack on another neighbor's dog.
Thirteen year old Kelsey Peta testified she had been walking her Beagle, appropriately named Snoopy, on the street of her tree-lined neighborhood on the hot afternoon of August 24, 2005. She noticed as she walked past the side of the home at 5317 Rustic Trail, the neighbor's two adolescent children playing on a dirt mound with another little girl in the yard. Suddenly two loose dogs raised their heads up from behind the mound.
The dogs, a female Pit Bull and female Shepherd-Chow mix, bolted towards the
7th grader but zeroed in their attack exclusively on Snoopy. Kelsey dropped the leash, but there wasn't time for the little Beagle to escape, even if it had occurred to him to abandon his owner. The Pit Bull bit his front legs while the Shepherd bit him on the back above his tail, while Snoopy tried to defend himself.
Kelsey said the neighbor children tried to no avail to call the dogs, named Sasha and Sweetie, back to the yard. The neighbor's older son, Nathan and the daughter, Hannah, then physically intervened to try to separate the dogs during the fight. According to the childrens' mother, Malinda Stokes, they had been bitten by Snoopy.
City Prosecutor Michael Kallas asked Kelsey if Snoopy had ever bitten anyone-or these children-before this incident. The answer was no. Deborah Peta, Kelsey's mother, testified that on August 14, 2005, she herself had taken her visiting sister's Shitzu for a walk on Rustic Trail when the black Shepherd came running at great speed towards her, barking and snarling. Mrs. Peta scooped up the small dog in her arms and an older child of the Stokes family called the Shepherd, "Sweetie", back home.
Kallas asked Mrs. Peta if the dog had been in an aggressive stance, and she answered, "Yes, and I was walking away from the Stokes house."
Julie Hughes, who lives next door to the Stokes, filed a citizen's Complaint against Mark and Melinda Stokes for an incident with the two dogs she incurred on August 5, 2005, as reported in Local News Only:
" 8/05/05 Report of 2 dogs running at large at 5313 Rustic Trail, in the Rustic Oaks subdivision. The female victim, 51, told Officer Greg Prewitt that while she was walking past the residence where the dogs live, both dogs bolted into the street, straight toward her in a very aggressive manner."
That complaint was combined with this Dangerous Dog Hearing. Mrs. Hughes
testified that the Stokes consistently let the dogs, which they had only acquired last February, run loose unsupervised and the dogs were becoming more and more aggressive and territorial of the entire neighborhood.
On August 5, about 6:30 PM, she was walking to her home by walking on the
opposite side of the street, towards the David Lee residence on Elm. The Stokes children, Hannah, Daniel, and Jonah Stokes were playing in their front yard with the dogs, when Sasha, the Pit Bull, and Sweetie, the Shepherd, charged her, barking and snarling. "I said a prayer, 'God help me', and in a commanding voice I confronted the dogs, pointing away and telling them to 'Go home', while I tried to step behind a brick mailbox. One of the dogs did go home, but the other, the Shepherd, did not. The children in the Stokes driveway did not budge to come help me. There were no adults to come to my aid. It was a terrifying feeling. I took four steps back, and told the children I was going to call the Police."
After a few seconds, the Shepherd went home, and Julie Hughes made it back
into her house and called the Police non-emergency number. Officer Brian
Thorne was dispatched, but the dogs had already been put up. Hughes thought it
over and concluded she would file the Complaint, "We'll go through the system
and let the Court decide."
Melinda Stokes asked Ms. Hughes, "Did you ever attempt to talk to us?"
Hughes answered, "No. We tried to talk to you about other matters before, like the Sex Offender in your home-if you had kept the dogs on a leash or in a fenced area you would not be here today."
Animal Control Officer Michelle Benton told the court that the Stokes had adopted the dogs, who are 1 year olds, from the Keller Animal Shelter in February, 2005, and there had been about 8 complaints about the dogs being loose in that time. She said that the incidents happened most frequently on the weekends or after 4:30 PM when her office is closed. It was her belief that without a fence to contain the dogs, they gradually came to believe that the entire neighborhood was their "territory" to protect, as they had no defining perimeters.
ACO Benton testified that the Stokes had put up a fence only two days before; after she had seized Sasha and Sweetie on the 25th of August and taken them to the Bedford Animal Facility. Benton had inspected the fence the morning of the Hearing, and felt like it would safely contain the dogs.
Officer Benton stated that she had contacted the veterinarian who treated Snoopy after the attack. She showed Judge Ames and Melinda Stokes the pictures and explained details about the swelling in one front leg and the drainage tube in one of the bites in his rear end. The 4 year old Beagle is in good spirits and expected to fully recover, she concluded.
Judge Ames made his ruling, declaring the two canines were proved vicious.
"We have ample evidence these dogs attacked another dog and have approached
other people in a manner that probably constitutes an attack. I have a duty under our Laws to protect citizens."
"I will not ban the dogs from the City or order them euthanized. They must be contained in a fenced area. If they are outside for any reason, they must not only be leashed, but muzzled, and enclosed at all times otherwise. If the dogs get out by themselves, you have breached the order and I reserve the right to have them removed from the City. Anywhere they go, you or their caretaker is required to notify the Animal Control Authorities and have Liability Insurance, which is very high."
"I do this to protect you too."
"You are ordered to pay the impound fees of $120 if the dogs are picked up from the shelter today, and pay the Veterinarian bill of $373. I will give you time to reimburse those; you must pay the Vet bill to the Peta's by January 13, 2006, and the Impound fee to the City of Colleyville by November 25, 2005."
Local News Only learned that due to the costs involved with Liability Insurance, which is set by the State of Texas to be at least $100,000 per dog, the Stokes elected to have the Bedford Animal Facility euthanize Sasha and Sweetie on Wednesday.
May 2, 2005, LNO posted an article concerning a meeting in the Rustic Oaks neighborhood because the same family and taken in a human "stray" that also happened to be a sex offender.
April 12, 2005, LNO posted an article concerning the sex offender that fled from Colleyville Police in a high speed car chase; the offender, Doug Bachstein was living with the same Stokes family.
Below is the current Texas State Predator List with Doug Bachstein's photo from August, 2007. His residence is STILL listed as 5317 Rustic Oaks in Colleyville:
PURSUANT TO CHAPTER 62, (ART 62.045 AND ART 62.0451) OF THE TEXAS CODE OF CRIMINAL PROCEDURE, THE CRIME RECORDS SERVICE OF THE TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY IS FURNISHING ADDITIONAL PUBLIC NOTICE, IN THE FORM OF A POSTCARD, FOR CERTAIN SEX OFFENDERS.