Durham man hurt while tending to injured dog criticizes wait for help
Posted October 20, 2015
Durham, N.C. — A Durham man who, along with a Good Samaritan, was hit by an SUV Monday night while waiting for help for his injured dog criticized Durham County Animal Services on Tuesday for its tardy response to his pleas for help.
Jonathan Parker said his pit bull, King, had followed another dog into Liberty Street near North Guthrie Avenue and was hit by a car that didn't stop. While he tended to King, a woman blocked the street with her car and put on her flashers, he said.
Parker, 47, said he called 911 and was switched to the Durham County Sheriff's Office, which handles after-hours calls for Animal Services. A dispatcher told him someone was en route to help with King, he said, so the woman who had stopped left after waiting with him for a while.
He said he wound up waiting almost two hours in the street – he didn't want to move King because he feared hurting the dog more – and called Animal Services twice more during that time, getting angrier with each call that the agency wasn't responding.
"The third call, I said, 'Were is y'all at?' and I used profanity to her because I got mad," he said. "It hit me, 'Y'all ain't coming to get my dog.'"
By this time, Stephanie Wilson had stopped to help Parker. She was leaning over to check whether King had a heartbeat when she and Parker were hit by an SUV and dragged underneath the vehicle.
"I'm watching the street to make sure everybody is safe," Parker said. "I turned around to look down at her checking his heart. The next thing I know, I'm waking up under a truck."
Nearby residents pulled Parker from under the pickup and tried to lift the truck off of Wilson, he said.
Margarita Hernandez De La Cruz, 54, of Durham, was charged with driving while her license was revoked and not having insurance on her vehicle.
Wilson, 29, suffered critical injuries and was in a local hospital Tuesday, police said.
"Stephanie would have never showed up because the other lady stood there with her flashers on for about an hour," said Parker, who was treated at a hospital and released. "After she left, that's when Stephanie showed up because wasn't nobody out there with me.
"They at least could have sent police crews out there to direct traffic until they got there," he said of local authorities.
Capt. Don Baker said the Durham County Sheriff's Office was investigating the incident but had no response to Parker's complaint on Tuesday.
To make matters worse for Parker, King's carcass was left in a nearby yard until noon Tuesday before Animal Services finally picked it up.
"I went to the hospital and came back. My dog was still laying out there," he said. "That's my baby. I wouldn't wish that on nobody. It's like your child walks out there in the street and gets hit."
Delois Lowery said he didn't see the dog's carcass in his front yard until Tuesday morning.
"A dead animal laying on your property like that is not good," Lowery said. "I'm wondering if it was up in another neighborhood, a different neighborhood, would they move the dog."