A Shenandoah Borough man was attacked by two pit bulls owned by his neighbor Sept. 18, sending the victim to the hospital and resulting in six charges filed against the dog owner.
Borough police received a call at 3:28 p.m. from the Schuylkill County Communications Center to the 500 block of West Arlington Street on a dog bite. When Patrolman Kirk Kirkland arrived, he found the caller, Barton Knochenmus, 59, of 524 W. Arlington St., standing outside screaming in pain and holding his arms.
Knochenmus requested an ambulance, which Kirkland said was on the way. The officer told Knochenmus to get into the police cruiser due to heavy rain. Knochenmus told police he was walking back to his home from the store and the dogs came out of the house of Scott Popenhagen, 522 W. Arlington St. Knochenmus told police that he didn’t do anything to the dogs before the attack and only tried to defend himself when they attacked.
Knochenmus was taken by Shenandoah ambulance to Schuylkill Medical Center-South Jackson Street. Before leaving, Kirkland was advised by EMS that the bite on the right forearm was serious, being 3 inches by 3 inches and close to the bone. Knochenmus was treated at the hospital for dog bites to his right arm and hand, resulting in more than 80 stitches, bites to the left arm and hand, and a bruised and fractured foot.
Popenhagen, 32, was advised by Kirkland to submit paperwork to police within 24 hours in order for him to report the incident to the state Department of Health. Kirkland also contacted the state dog warden, Francis Cremia. Popenhagen told Kirkland that his children had just come home from school and opened the front door, which allowed the two pit bulls, Shamrock and Lila, to leave the home. Popenhagen said he heard yelling and screaming when he was in another section of the house and came outside to discover what happened.
The dogs need to be quarantined until Monday. Cremia gave permission to Popenhagen to remove the dogs from his house and place them at a friend’s home in Trexlertown, where a state dog law officer will check on them.
Popenhagen was given three non-traffic citations on each dog: dog law violation on application for dog licenses, fees and penalties; dog law violation on vaccination required with certification and tag; and borough ordinance violation on unlawful to allow dogs to run at large. All six violations were filed Tuesday with Magisterial District Judge Anthony J. Kilker, Shenandoah.