A year ago, on July 19th, two women were brutally attacked in my South Park neighborhood when a man climbed through their bathroom window while they slept. Theresa Butz died, and her partner survived. In the days that followed, we mourned the horrific tragedy, and we were beyond scared for our family and friends while the suspect was at large.
On July 24th, police released two surveillance videos, each showing a man skulking around a dark alley in an unknown location with a brindle pit bull at his side. Given my radar for pit bulls in the neighborhood, I watched the videos dozens of times to see if I could identify the guy.
Within hours of the video postings, a Metro bus driver near Magnuson Park spotted the suspect walking with his brown-and-white pit bull, Endo, and called police. They swarmed the area, and Kalebu was arrested.
Here’s a photograph Greg Gilbert shot of Endo to include in a Seattle Times article about what would happen to him.
I remain haunted by what happened to these two women that I never met but that lived blocks from my home. And this week, almost a year to the day, I received an update on Endo. He’s now a beloved family pet. I don’t know how he wasn’t also the victim of violence, how he wasn’t damaged. But I find some peace knowing he’s safe and sound.
La Tigre is also on my mind with the first days of summer in the 90s. During a drive-by last week, on first glance, we didn’t see her. As soon as I got excited about the chance she may no longer be chained up, she startled us when she jumped on top of a car to alarm bark our passing by. Looks like she’s chained to the inside of the carport right now.
There are also three new pit bulls in South Park. A used tire store opened about two months ago, and they’re relying on three pit bulls to guard the tires when they’re not open for business. Two males and a female. All in tact. There are now 3 dog houses, and they keep water and food bowls visible so folks like me don’t keep calling Animal Control. I’m thinking: What if during a midnight mission I stacked all the tires on the outside of the fence and left the dogs inside with a giant sign that reads, “Pit bulls are not guard dogs.” But maybe the dogs are enough for thieves to shuffle down to the other two used tire shops a block down the street.
There’s one more pit bull on my mind: Tiny Gus-Gus. We agreed it’s time to foster another pit bull puppy so when I dropped by the shelter two weeks ago, I brought this little guy home with me.
He was found as a stray, only 4 weeks old, brought to the shelter by a woman who happened to cross his path. I really hope Tiny will grow up to be all the wonderful things pit bulls can be but I’m also realistic this is a less than ideal start. He should be with his litter. For now, we’re doing the best we can to give him the guidance on how to be a good dog. Here he is with Gigi. My grandmother, Ruby, was crazy about poodles. I’m crazy about pit bulls. And I wonder what Gigi’s breed of choice will be.