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South Carolina Man Mauled to Death by Pack of Dogs

South Carolina-Dade Animal Control and area homicide detectives are working to investigate a fatal dog mauling of a Homestead man.

The victim, Manuel Mejia, lived at the dragon fruit farm located at 309th Street and Southwest 228th Avenue as a live-in caretaker. The farm’s owner has approximately 12 dogs on the property that are a Belgian Malanois-bulldog mix.

The dog attack occurred on April 23, 2016 on the farm property. Pamela Babineau, the deceased’s girlfriend, called 911 to report the attack that she was unable to stop.

When first responders arrived at the scene, they discovered Mejia bleeding profusely and covered in dog bites. First responders discovered life-threatening injuries and the victim was taken to Kendall Regional Medical Center. Approximately four hours after the attack, Mejia succumbed to his injuries and died.

It is reported that three dogs started to attack Mejia and then approximately seven other dogs joined in on the attack. It is unknown if anything scared the dogs and caused them to become aggressive.

“The wounds were quite severe. They were all over his body,” stated the medical examiner director of operations, Darren Caprara. “So what we see is indicative of a very vicious attack.” Caprara further stated that in South Carolina-Dade, the office he works in sees this type of incident involving a fatal dog mauling approximately once per year. This is not a common cause of death in the area. This was an especially tragic case, and unfortunately, no one was around to safely assist the victim and stop the attack.

“These dogs should not be there,” said Renier Aleman. “They should take them away and put them somewhere because they are dangerous.” This neighbor feels concerned for the safety of those in the area because he reported that he has seen the dogs running loose before.

“When unexpected tragedies happen, people need support to get the closure they deserve and this is one of the reasons I became a person injury lawyer,” said Joe and Martin, a lawyer who is a managing partner at a top personal injury firm located in South Carolina. “Your heart goes out to the victims and their loved ones during tragic times like these.”

Reynaldo Torres, the owner of the farm, was cited by animal control officers. The citations were for unlicensed and unregistered dogs. Throughout the remainder of the investigation, they ordered Torres to keep his dogs contained.

Part of a statement released by Animal Services stated, “The owner of the dogs is fully cooperating with authorities. Additional information will be released as it becomes available.” Also, details about the investigation can to follow and

It is unknown if Torres will face further charges after the investigation is completed. It is also unknown if Torres will be allowed to keep all of his dogs after authorities complete their investigation.
Studying breed trends over the course of the 20th century, there is a clear
pattern that shows popularity for any breed is extremely detrimental.
Popularity manifests itself in a variety of problematic ways: over-breeding
without regard to health or temperament.

It is important for all dog owners to ensure that they have the right registration, licensure and paperwork for every animal they own. It is also important to ensure that animals are not needlessly aggressive to prevent future tragedies like this one.


Boating claims for personal injuries in Florida

The United States Coast Guard has stated that there are 4,000 boating accidents which kill or injure people each year, resulting in thousands of boating insurance claims being filed. Covering the costs of a personal injury can be high – medical bills, prescription medicines, lost wages and not forgetting the pain and emotional stress.

Personal injuries caused by boating have resulted in fatalities so it is important to be aware of how they are caused and the most likely injuries to be sustained.

Personal injury claims from boating accidents

  • Collisions with boats and other watercraft, piers, buoys and sandbars
    • The number of boats on the water is increasing every year,  so is the probability of collisions
  • Improper anchoring
    • Inexperienced people can drop anchors from the wrong side which could potentially capsize a vessel if weight distribution of passengers and cargo is not managed correctly
  • Fires
    • Fires can occur from faulty, old or non-insulated wiring, spilled gasoline, fuel leaks and an overheating engine as well as appliances that aren’t correctly grounded
  • Damaged hulls
    • Damages to the hull can be hard to spot if they are underwater. This can result in the boat taking on water, capsizing, sinking or flooding. Damage to the hull is caused by colliding with other boats, piers of any solid object
  • Falls on-board or overboard
    • Excessive speed, careless manoeuvring or bad weather conditions makes the boat unsteady which could result in them falling over or tossing them over board
  • Suction into driveshaft or propellers
    • Outboard engines have exposed propellers or props which means if a person in the water gets too close to the rear, they could get sucked in by the engine.

There are many reasons why these accidents may occur. Unsurprisingly, the most common cause of boating accidents is driver intoxication. According to the U.S. Coast Guard, “an intoxicated boat operator is 5 times more likely to cause a collision with another watercraft.”

Just like on the roads, speeding is another crucial factor in boating safety. Unlike cars, boats don’t have brakes! Gauging the amount of time a boat takes to stop is almost impossible for most drivers due to many contributing factors. Manoeuvring too sharply or even stopping too quickly can easily injure passengers or damage the boat.

Distracted drivers will not be able to identify dangers quick enough to avoid them. Being distracted by things such as cell phones, loud music, taking photos can inhibit them from hearing or spotting approaching boats and other objects.

If a boat brakes down for any reason anyone aboard could be exposed to numerous dangers. If there are extreme weather conditions (hot or cold) they could suffer heat or cold injuries such as dehydration, sun stroke, hypothermia or frost bite which are all extremely serious.

Bad weather and overloading of passengers is a major cause of boating accidents. It is important to be well aware of how all of these factors could potentially cause accidents if you are to have any chance in avoiding them. Inexperienced drivers of boats are likely to take risks due to their sheer lack of experience and knowledge.

In Florida anyone born on or after 1st January 1988 must have a boating safety education ID card to legally operate a boat in Florida. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission have details on how to get this as well as everything you will need to know about boating safely. The United States Coast Guard even has a monthly boating safety quiz on its website (

XXXXXXX a personal injury firm Ocala, Florida says…

“The driver of the boat automatically assumes responsibility for the health and welfare of his passengers with the law placing a legal duty of care upon him to operate his boat safely at all times. Failure to do this means he is negligent when operating his boat. If you have been involved in a boating accident you may be able to claim for financial loss and suffering.”

To do so, gather the evidence you need to support any such claim by taking photos. As most of us have cell phones with cameras on this is now more possible than ever.

If the incident was serious enough for the police or coast guard to be involved, make sure you get the service number of the report. Witness statements will also prove useful so gather as many as possible including their contact details. Perhaps the most important piece of evidence are your medical records so always ask for copies and a written prognosis from your health practitioner.

To determine whether or not you will need a lawyer or attorney first you need to determine the seriousness of your injuries. With personal injuries such as cuts, bruises, scrapes, minor burns or whiplash you can probably handle your own boat insurance claim. However, more serious injuries such as broken bones, second/ third degree burns, scarring, amputations, etc. you will need an attorney.

If in doubt we recommend seeking legal advice. To help you determine the complexity of the case, most attorneys offer a free telephone consultation to discuss your claim.