A local man died Friday night after being mauled by a pit bull that was chained to the porch of a Golden Oaks Addition residence in rural Ardmore.


A local man died Friday night after being mauled by a pit bull that was chained to the porch of a Golden Oaks Addition residence in rural Ardmore.

 

Carter County Undersheriff Milton Anthony said Saturday afternoon 50-year-old Virgil A. Cantrell died en route to a Dallas hospital, following the 7:35 p.m. attack at the Petty Road residence of Rick Grant, identified as the owner of the dog.

 

Anthony said deputies responded to the residence after a neighbor called the sheriff department, reporting “A man on the ground and the dog on top of him.” The undersheriff said Cantrell had sustained severe facial, head and throat injuries.

 

“When deputies arrived, they found the dog, still chained to the porch, but it had the victim on the ground and would not allow anyone near the victim. A deputy shot the dog in order to allow medics to reach the victim,” Anthony said.

 

Cantrell was initially taken to Mercy Memorial Health Center in Ardmore. He was subsequently transferred by ambulance to Parkland Hospital.

 

“He was not airlifted because the weather had all planes grounded,” Anthony said. “He died on the way and was pronounced dead at a Denton, Texas, hospital.”

 

Saturday deputies were continuing to investigate the circumstances surrounding the mauling.

 

“Right now it appears no one was at home when the mauling occurred. We are not certain at this time if the victim was walking by the house or had approached the porch where the dog was chained,” Anthony said.

 

A search Friday night for Grant and his wife, Lisa, was unsuccessful. However, the undersheriff said the couple did voluntarily submit to interviews Saturday at the sheriff’s department. Anthony said after obtaining statements from the couple, they were released pending further investigation.

 

“The dog’s body has been taken to a local veterinarian and it will be sent for testing on Monday. Our records indicate we have answered two previous calls at that residence regarding dog bites. We have discussed this with Assistant District Attorney Tim Burson, who is the DA that was on call at the time. On Monday we will be seeking charges of harboring a vicious animal,” Anthony said. “But the investigation is not over and after all the information is reviewed by the district attorney’s office it is possible charges could be upgraded.