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Lawyer: Fatal Dog-Stab Self-Defense
Newsday – Long Island, N.Y.
Date: Jan 7, 2009
Copyright © 2009, Newsday Inc.
A Middle Island man charged yesterday with animal cruelty had no choice but to stab his dog to death
after the 80-pound pit bull attacked him and his 8-year-old son, the man’s lawyer said.
But police say Lamont Yarborough had only a scratch on his hand from the dog and could have fled from
it without killing it.
Yarborough, 36, of 51 Wilson Ave., did not want Buster, 2, to die, said attorney Michael Brown of Central
“This dog has had extremely vicious tendencies in the past,” Brown said. “In the heat of the moment, he
was trying to control the dog. … He certainly had no intent to kill the dog.”
Yarborough called police at about 5 a.m. yesterday after stabbing Buster to death, said Det. Sgt. James
Madden of the Sixth Precinct. Police found the dog’s body in a hallway with puncture wounds to the groin,
head and rib cage, he said.
Yarborough, a driver for a private ambulance company, told police he grabbed a knife from the kitchen
after Buster attacked him in a bedroom, then poked at him under a bed, Madden said.
Killing the dog was unnecessary, Madden said, noting Yarborough had a “superficial” scratch mark on
one hand.
“Mr. Yarborough had plenty of time to retreat” after Buster attacked him, Madden said. “I believe Mr. Yarborough
could have confined his dog in a room and … he could have called 911.”
Yarborough pleaded not guilty in First District Court in Central Islip to felony aggravated cruelty to animals.
If convicted, he faces up to 2 years in prison. He was released without bail and is due to return to
court March 5.
A necropsy on the dog will likely be completed today, said Jerry Lauber, chief of detectives at the Suffolk
Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
Arielle Brechisci contributed to this story.