Victim: Jack Russell Terrier Dog
The accused: Andrew Schecter

Jack Russell Terrier_Dog

Jack Russell Terrier Dog

Unknown

Age at time: unknown

Weapon: canine teeth

 
Schecter

Andrew Schecter

White male

Age at time: 60

Weapon: chair leg

unharmed

Defendant photo: Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office

Case type:
Animal attack

Location:
Public

Initiator:
Victim

Witnesses:
Yes

Case year:
2010

Location details: On the road in a mobile home park in West Palm Beach, Palm Beach County, on Nov. 15, 2010

What happened: Andrew Schecter was jogging with his dog, a 15-pound Chihuahua/Jack Russell mix, when a Jack Russell terrier ran out of its yard and into the street. The loose dog jumped on Schecter's dog and the two animals, which were about the same size, began to fight. Schecter said he hit the attacking dog with a chair leg he carried for protection until it laid down in the street. Schecter then continued with his jog after yelling at the homeowner that she should keep her dog secured. Two witnesses, however, supported the story told by the dog's owner, Norma Valdez. Valdez said she was mowing her lawn when her dog ran out to the jogger and began sniffing his dog. When the two dogs began to fight, she said Schecter hit her dog repeatedly, even after it was on the ground. He then told Valdez, a Hispanic, that she did not belong in this country and that she did not obey the laws. Valdez's dog had a fractured skull and she told police she was unable to pay the $497.44 emergency vet bill.

The outcome: Schecter's public defender filed a motion for immunity based on "stand your ground." A judge denied the motion, saying "stand your ground" only provides immunity to those who use force "against a person rather than chattel or property." Schecter was found guilty by a jury in Oct. 2011. He was sentenced to 50 days in county jail and three years probation. He was also ordered to write a 250 word letter of apology to the dog owner and take an anger management class. According to the Palm Beach Post, "after four months of rehabilitation, the dog's wounds had healed and she eventually learned to walk again."

Investigating agency: Palm Beach County Sheriff

Case decision made by: Jury

Trayvon Martin’s death became controversial because circumstances leading up to the shooting cast doubt on who was to blame. The Tampa Bay Times reviewed other “stand your ground” cases for similar circumstances. The Times relied on available information, some of which may not tell the whole story. When the situation was unclear, that was noted.

Yes No Unclear/
disputed

Did the victim initiate the confrontation?

Check

Was the victim armed?

Check

Was the victim committing a crime that led to the confrontation?

Check

Did the defendant pursue the victim?

Check

Could the defendant have retreated to avoid the conflict?

Check

Was the defendant on his or her property?

Check

Did someone witness the attack?

Check

Was there physical evidence?

Check

Source: Eleventh Judicial Circuit Court, Miami-Dade County, May 13, 2011.

Source: Fifteenth Judicial Circuit Court, Palm Beach County, July 26, 2011.

Source: Fifteenth Judicial Circuit Court, Palm Beach County, Aug. 15, 2011.

Source: Miami-Dade County Clerk, May 13, 2011.

Source: Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office, Nov. 15, 2010.

Source: Palm Beach Post, Oct. 6, 2011. Link to original source

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Case last updated: Aug. 10, 2013