On June 15 of last year, 10-year-old Justin Clinton decided to skateboard over to a friend’s house to play, just as he often did. He was a country boy from Rusk County, Texas, and his mother Serenia Clinton had no need to worry about his safety…
He passed a nearby home, where two pit bull mixes had escaped from their fenced-in yard. Justin weighed just 63 pounds. The pit bulls weighed in at 88 and 70 pounds. He was mauled to death within moments.
Neighbor Veronica Tatum saw the dogs dragging Justin’s body down the street. She ran out of her home and began beating the animals with his skateboard, finally corralling them back within the fencing. But when she administered CPR, it was already too late. Justin had bled to death.
Serenia Clinton would eventually sue the dog’s owners for not properly containing the maniacal dogs. At trial, Tatum said the dogs were so vicious that even after she’d got them back to their yard, they continually rammed the fence to get at Justin. She was scared enough that she asked responding police to shoot them. They didn’t, but the officers kept their guns drawn while they tended to Justin.
A Texas jury has now awarded Serenia Clinton $7 million in damages. But she’s not finished fighting in the aftermath of her son’s death. Her lawyer says that 73-80 percent of all deaths caused by animals can be attributed to pit bulls and rottweilers. Serenia says her next step will be to petition the Texas legislature, hoping to get pt bulls banned from the state.
See our last story about a dog attack: Johnny Wilson Mauled to Death by His Daughter’s 6 Pit Bulls.