Claremont Insider: Dave the Dog Man Bites Back

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Dave the Dog Man Bites Back

We recounted the recent altercation at the Pooch Park in a previous post and invited submission of anything that would keep the controversy going.

Dave the Dog Man (David Null) responded. We didn't make the connection at first between David Null and Dave the Dog Man, but Dave is what you might call a "familiar figure" around town. We don't use the appellation "Dave the Dog Man" pejoratively; Dave uses it himself. It's more for identification.

Anyway, in the letter below he elaborates a bit on his two previous letters (to the Courier, here and here) but does not seem to us to be greatly at variance with them. The noteworthy thing is how different is his account of the incident from that of Mr. Leonardo Reyes published in the Courier, here--though no less fantastic in some ways.

Read the letters; they don't even agree on whether the bulldog had been fixed or not-- a fact, it seems to us, susceptible to expert inquiry, examination, and opinion.

click on box, upper right, to enlarge

What strikes us is the fecklessness of the Claremont Police in this matter. Now we are not privy to what happened, and we understand that the cops run into putative assaults all the time. But both correspondents appear to be alleging assault and most likely battery. Isn't that against some law? Is there some "on-going investigation" that we are not hearing about?

The ever-helpful Bernard Karmatz, M.S., LFMT/PI, opined in paragraph four of his letter that the police or the DA would have to sort this out. And maybe they will, but we wouldn't bet on it. Too much bad press for the Fifth Best City if an actual criminal complaint ensues over the unsupervised dog park.

Still, a claim against the City, followed by the inevitable lawsuit* naming the City of Claremont and a list of "Does" known and unknown, complaints, cross-complaints, depositions, et cetera and so on, wouldn't be such a good thing either.

We don't want to take sides at this point, but from the tenor of the last couple of letters we have a pretty good idea who would be the more sympathetic witness. It could just be that Dave the Dog Man would have the opportunity to move from Pomona into a nice house in Claremont, above Baseline, with a little extra cash coming in every month to take care of the maintenance.

from Zillow

It could also be that Dave the Dog Man would be held to a pretty high standard when it comes to canine behavior. And there's always "assumption of risk"...but not against criminal or tortious acts. So it could take a veritable Blackstone to figure things out.

Well Mr. Reyes, it would appear that the ball is in your court (or the Kong is in your cage, or whatever they say in the dog world).

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*It is the World's screwiest, most opaque, and dishonest process, but a lawsuit or credible threat of one is the ONLY way to prevail against a public agency and especially the City of Claremont in any claim, no matter how just.