Ansonia Man Furious After Bounty Hunter Kills His Pit Bull

Ansonia Man Furious After Bounty Hunter Kills His Pit Bull

by Ethan Fry | Jun 21, 2012 4:16 pm

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Ansonia Man Furious After Bounty Hunter Kills His Pit Bull

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Ansonia resident Gary Menna Sr. was working in Naugatuck last Thursday night when his son’s girlfriend called.

“They got Max,” she said, referring to Menna’s 21-year-old son, Max Delgado.

Delgado had skipped court on drug and gun charges and had just been snagged by bounty hunters at the family’s Cedar Street residence.

Menna rushed home.

He says he got there about 7:30 p.m. to find his son in handcuffs, covered in cuts and bruises.

What’s more — one of his three dogs was lying in blood and excrement. A bail agent had shot the animal after it bit his partner.

The dog — a 3-year-old pit bull named Bullet — died the next morning on the operating table at Shoreline Veterinary Hospital in Shelton.

“The bounty hunter shot my dog in the back, piercing his abdomen. His intestines were severed,” Menna said.

Menna said Bullet had never bitten anybody before and was simply defending his owner.

“This is a family member I lost,” he said, referring to his dog. “I believe excessive force was used and they definitely did not have a right to shoot my dog on my property.”

Furthermore, he said one of the bounty hunters threatened him after Menna arrived home to find his dog badly wounded.

“I was cursing, swearing,” Menna said. “I was at least a good 10 to 15 feet from this gentleman and he says ‘You better back up before I shoot you also.’”

However, the bounty hunters involved said Menna’s son sicced the dog on them. They said they had no choice but to defend themselves.

“He (Max Delgado) sicced a pit bull on us and the pit bull bit one of our guys,” said bounty hunter Henry Adams, who fired the fatal shot. “What would you do?”

Ansonia police are investigating the incident. No charges have been filed.

Bounty Hunters Speak

Adams and John Evans are licensed bail enforcement agents who subcontract for Aces Bail Bonds in Bridgeport. Adams has been a bounty hunter for 12 years. Evans, eight years.

Adams said he never threatened to shoot Menna.

“I never did that. He came up into my face. I didn’t raise my hands, or become aggressive or anything,” Adams said.

The dog bit Evans, who was treated and released the same night (June 14) at Griffin Hospital. He backed up his colleague’s account.

The two say they went to the house armed, knowing Delgado was wanted for blowing off his first court appearance the week before. And the alleged crimes weren’t minor — they were felonies involving a gun and drugs.

That wasn’t all they knew.

“We knew he had dogs,” Evans said. “We were told he had dogs.”

The bounty hunters said they tried to apprehend Delgado when he was outside and the dogs were inside.

Evans said Delgado was on the back steps of the house, saw he was about to be taken down, and tried to go inside the house.

“When I came around the side, he got up and took off inside the house,” Evans said. The bondsmen pursued. Evans managed to grab Delgado by the shirt and a scuffle ensued, he said.

As Evans and Delgado wrestled, the dog came from within the house and attacked Evans, biting him in the leg.

Meanwhile, Adams, who was still in the front yard, could hear the commotion.

“All I heard was (Evans) yelling ‘The dog! The dog got me! The dog!’” Adams said.

He said he ran to the rear of the home and found Evans and Delgado fighting and screaming, with Bullet, the pit bull, latched to Evans’ leg.

“They were struggling on the ground and then the dog had him, and that’s when I came around.”

“I kicked the dog off of him at first,” Adams said. “Then he came back at me and I just had nowhere to run, and that’s when what happened happened.”

He fired a single shot into the dog.

“What was I going to do, leave my partner on the ground bleeding and fighting?”

Evans and Adams blamed Delgado — who is now being held at Bridgeport Correctional Center in lieu of $350,000 bond — for the dog’s death.

“The kid knew what we were there for. Even if he got in the house and stayed in the house, you’re done. You’re caught,” Evans said.

“Why open the door and let the the dogs out? We tried to avoid all that because we knew he had dogs in the house,” he added. “If he just stayed there nothing would have happened.”

Only Option?

Menna acknowledged his son isn’t a saint — but said the bounty hunters should have had other options available.

“You could have Tased my son,” Menna said. “You could have Tased the dog.”

The bounty hunters said any injuries to Delgado were sustained because he kept fighting them. Adams said they don’t carry Tasers and a can of mace was knocked out of the his hand during the struggle.

Menna also disputed their assertion the dog was essentially being used as a weapon.

“Those dogs can’t be sicced on anybody,” Menna said. “When you’re entering a piece of property with guns in hand, you’re looking for trouble.”

Now, Menna says he’s left with a vet bill between $10,000 and $15,000.

“I want to raise as much hell as possible and I want this to be taken care of,” he said. “I want legal ramifications, civil, whatever is possible.”

Ansonia Police Chief Kevin Hale said police, who were not involved with Thursday’s incident but responded after the fight and shooting, are investigating the matter.

Bounty hunters are licensed by a special unit of the state police, Hale said. Ansonia police are reviewing Adams’ use of force “to make sure laws were followed.”

“We’ve got to talk to the state with some questions,” Hale said. “Just looking at it from a distance it appears the use of force was proper, but we’ll determine that to make sure.”

Bail enforcement agents are allowed to carry guns after going through a permitting process, just like any other citizen, according to the state police.

“They’re no different than anybody else,” said Lt. J. Paul Vance, a state police spokesman. “They’re really civilians making citizens’ arrests.”

“Just like any other citizen, they’re regulated by law as to the utilization and carrying of them,” Vance added.

Adams and Evans said they’d never experienced anything similar in 20 combined years in their line of work.

Both welcomed any investigation into what happened because they said they will be cleared of any wrong-doing.

“I’ve never had to use my weapon before, ever,” Adams said. “Trust me. I’m an animal lover. I have my own animals. I didn’t want to do that. But I didn’t have a choice.”

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posted by: Karl Heitz on June 21, 2012  6:01pm

Hate to hear when an animal has to pay for the stupidity of it’s owners. You have no leg to stand on. You were harboring a fugitive and it is his fault the dog died. The bounty hunter had no choice. I love how people never want to own up to their own mistakes. Blame anyone else instead. Time to grow up and take responsibility.

posted by: Samantha Brown on June 21, 2012  6:35pm

I could not have said it better Karl. Had he done what he was suppose to do this all could have been avoided. Blame your son for the dogs death.

posted by: Danielle Dobbins on June 21, 2012  8:55pm

how could you even say it is anyone’s fault the dog died?! the poor animal was being a loyal pet and protecting his owner. how was the dog supposed to know if he was defending rightfully or wrongfully? someone attacks his owner and his first instinct to stick up for him. no one is to blame its just sad the dog lost his life being loyal to his owner.

posted by: Mallory McQuillan on June 21, 2012  10:09pm

It doesnt metter what the son did. if the dog was protecting him he shouldnt have gotten killed. if it was the father there protecting the son instead of the dog they wouldnt have shot him.  People love their pets just as much as they love their other family members. im 100 percent against this.  Im so sorry for the familys loss. rest in peace3

posted by: Eric Swanny on June 22, 2012  8:37am

Why didn’t the son go to the police station and turn himself in? I know the consequences if I get arrested, on serious charges, and skip my court date.  People armed with weapons are going to come to my house and most likely force entry.  He should know the possible outcomes (i.e. death); he was arrested with a weapon to begin with.  The kid should have stayed outside and put his hands behind his back.  If I’m an enforcement officer and a deadly dog bites me or my partner, you bet im blasting.  Its me or him.

posted by: Renee Sheckfee on June 22, 2012  8:50am

He should’ve never blown off court. Period. Yes, the dog was “protecting” his owner. But this kid knew it would. HE chose to make a bad situation worse. Blame the criminal who was arrested for a gun and drugs. Not the guys who bailed him out, then got screwed over. This is the problem with society today. People take ZERO responsibility for their own actions. Good luck finding a jury to rule in your favor. Taser? Are you serious? I hope the bounty hunter sues for his injuries too. If Delgado just complied this would’ve never happened. HE opened the door!

posted by: Tina Marie on June 22, 2012  9:15am

Never have I stepped into that house and felt a threatening vibe from any of “the dogs”. The dogs along with the family that raised them were anything but cruel and viscous. And while I know its standard a dog bites, he gets put down…humanely! None the less, isn’t private property circumstantial at this point? You don’t carry tasers? I guess you’re right,  guns will definitely get the job done,  why bother? By the way….skipped his first appearance date? Wow? You’d think this was a murder hunt. Its sad when dogs like these hunters can’t learn to appreciate their own species. At least these dogs can be loyal to something other than money.

posted by: Renee Sheckfee on June 22, 2012  9:31am

Murder? Are you kidding me?? It doesn’t matter if they were ever “vicious”, Bullet did do his job but that kid PUT him in that position. You’re totally missing my point. And no, he was nowhere close to being a saint. Have you seen Max’s criminal record? Numerous convictions for assaults, weapons, drugs…. From numerous agencies such as New Haven, Bridgeport, Ansonia, Milford….No, don’t hold the real person at fault. Btw, I’ve owned pit bills and knew they’d always protect me however, I’d never be selfish enough to needlessly put them in that position.

posted by: Paul M Kapij on June 22, 2012  11:05am

Feel bad for the dog but all the blame goes on the fugitive. You’re a wanted life long criminal who just happens to keep dogs that are known to be vicious in tense situations. Kinda fits the whole stereotype of thugs with pit-bull As a bondsman myself if people come and threaten us with a pitbull we let them know, release the dog and it gets shot in the head and you get shot in the groin. Never had a dog sent at us since. The guy is a coward and the dad is a joke thinking they are victims when in reality his coward of a son who when in jail had no problem seeking the help of a bondsman for his release under the promise of him being a man and-taking care of his court responsibilities he hides and runs like a coward behind his dog. Good job Aces got a fugitive off the street.

posted by: Chris Lemos on June 22, 2012  12:40pm

You people with the tasers have been watching too much TV! First, nobody but the police can legally carry a taser in CT; for some silly reason CT considers them even more dangerous then a gun I guess. Second, a taser isn’t especially accurate, nor is it designed to be used on animals. The chances of it getting both barbs into a dog are somewhere between slim and none. Besides, the taser is meant to take down a grown adult, and even then it occasionally still kills them. What do you think would happen if you took enough juice to make a 250lb guy roll on the ground crying, and put it to a 50lb dog? One word: BBQ.

posted by: Renee Sheckfee on June 22, 2012  1:00pm

Chris, I’m a retired cop. No, it wouldn’t BBQ a pit bull. Tasers infrequently work on dogs. Yes, accuracy is one issue but I’ve seen many a pit not even respond to being tased. Matter of fact, I’ve seen some pits not even respond to being shot. And I love the breed. Great dogs and very eager to please. But that’s where the problem lies. If they are trained wrong or have the instinct to protect their owners, things like this can happen. The focus should NOT be on Bullet or the bounty hunters. And YES Tina, skipped his first appearance day! He was arrested with a GUN and drugs! Second arrest for weapons charges and he’s been arrested, and convicted of drugs other times. Get this crumb off the street ASAP is my philosophy. He chose to break the law and obviously hasn’t learned yet so why should he be allowed to walk around with people who OBEY the laws? He didn’t fight these guys when they bailed his a$@ out of jail but now he wants to fight?? Stupid. His dad and girlfriend are lucky they didn’t get locked up for harboring a fugitive.

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