GIRARD, Ohio (WKBN) — The man who police say is the owner of five dogs who severely mauled a man early Monday morning on Youngstown’s North Side pleaded guilty Thursday to animal cruelty charges in Girard in an unrelated case.
Clarence Thigpen, 62, entered guilty pleas in municipal court before Judge Jeffrey Adler to two counts of animal cruelty.
The charges stem from a dead dog that was found Feb. 25 in the backyard of a Redfern Drive home in Liberty.
Under terms of a plea agreement by Special Prosecutor Jeffrey Holland and defense attorney Kristina Klecha, Thigpen was sentenced to 90 days in the Trumbull County Jail with 87 days suspended. He is also banned from owning a dog or any other animals for an indefinite amount of time.
Thigpen must also reimburse the Animal Welfare League $250 and submit to any inspections to see if he has any animals, under the terms of the agreement.
Thigpen’s jail sentence will be served at a later date. He is also on two years probation.
The dead dog was found by Liberty police who were at the home as part of an investigation.
Tamika Fussell, 42, was charged with a weapons offense that was bound over to Trumbull County Common Pleas Court as a result of that investigation.
Animal cruelty charges were dropped against her because of the felony that was bound over, Holland said.
In Youngstown, Thigpen faces five counts of having vicious dogs after a man was mauled early Monday morning across the street from a Logan Avenue home where police said Thigpen was storing scrap. The dogs were there to guard the scrap, police said.
Police shot two of the dogs, which were later put down, Thigpen told Judge Adler when asked about the status of the case. One of those dogs had been missing but was found and put down due to its injury.
The Mahoning County Dog Warden took the other three dogs.
Body camera footage by police shows an officer firing two shots from his service weapon as the dogs swarmed over the man, who is presently being treated at St. Elizabeth Health Center. Police described his injuries as severe.