RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The criminal investigation into the case in which an 88-year-old Richmond woman was killed in a dog attack has ended and it has been decided no felony charges will be placed on the owner of the dog.
Evangeline Brooks, 88, was attacked by the 6-year-old pit bull after she called out to her neighbor from a nearby yard around 6:30 a.m. on Nov. 7.
The Richmond Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office said the neighbor, Tracey Hicks, was startled at the greeting because it was dark outside and, due to her reaction, the dog suddenly attacked Brooks. The dog had on a shock collar and was not on a leash at the time of the attack.
The dog did not respond to the Ms. Hicks’ use of the shock collar and Ms. Hicks had to beat her dog with a rake before she was able to drag the dog off of Ms. Brooks. Ms. Hicks put the dog in her house, called 911 and immediately returned to assist Mrs. Brooks.Statement from the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office
Brooks was rushed to the hospital but the decision was made to take her off life support the next day.
“My mother went 30 minutes without breathing when they were working on her,” Brooks’ son, Howvard Brook said. “They said she would not come out of the coma that she was in.”
Brooks was a school teacher, community volunteer and longtime member of First Baptist Church South Richmond.
The owner of the dog, Tracey Hicks, was issued five summonses, including: Dog No Breeder’s Permit, Nuisance Dog, Dog No City License, Dog No Current Rabies Vaccination and Unrestrained Dog, and the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office said she fully cooperated with the investigation.
An investigation into the tragedy included statements from Hicks, Brooks’ son, neighbors, the dog’s veterinarians, vet records and a review of body-worn camera video. The decision was then announced by the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office on Monday, Nov. 28 that “no further criminal charges are appropriate.”
Hicks will go to court for the five misdemeanor charges on Nov. 30. The charges are all class 4 misdemeanors — the lowest level criminal offense in the Commonwealth. While they are minor, they are still considered criminal charges.
According to Richmond police, the dog was surrendered into Richmond Animal Care and Control custody directly after the attack and was immediately euthanized.
Correction: A previous version of this story included inaccurate information related to Hicks’ criminal charges. The story has been updated.