Park rangers: Dog attack did not happen at Wildwood Metropark - 19 Action News|Cleveland, OH|News, Weather, Sports

Park rangers: Dog attack did not happen at Wildwood Metropark

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SYLVANIA, OH (Press Release) -

A report of a dog attacking two people at Wildwood Preserve earlier this month was not true, according to Metroparks law enforcement officials.

"This incident did not take place at Wildwood," said Joe Fausnaugh, chief of operations, who oversees the park district's Ranger Department. "The two individuals did suffer injuries inflicted by a dog, but our investigation has concluded that they were injured by their own dog in a west Toledo apartment, and not on Metroparks property. We don't like to see anyone suffer injuries like these, but this had nothing to do with the Metroparks."

On July 5, rangers were notified by Toledo police that two people were being treated at a hospital for dog bites they received that morning at Wildwood. A ranger went to the hospital to check on the victims' condition and gather information to ensure the safety of other park visitors. Rangers closed the east entrance to the park for the rest of the day and searched for the dogs with the assistance of Sylvania Township police and Animal Control officers from the Lucas County Dog Warden's Office.

Nicole Farrell, 36, told the ranger that she and Steve Thompson, 35, were walking their own dog at Wildwood that morning when they were confronted by three stray dogs, one of which attacked them. However, in a subsequent interview last week, Farrell gave a written statement that the incident did not occur at the Metropark.

Thompson has left the state and did not suffer any injuries. Park rangers have charged Farrell with falsification, a first-degree misdemeanor. They have also turned over gathered information to the Sylvania prosecutor. 

"Safety of park visitors is always our first concern, and our law enforcement officers took this matter very seriously," said Steve Madewell, executive director of the park district. "Evidence convinced them the incident did not happen as it was reported, and that there was never a threat to the safety of our park visitors. Our actions reflect the Metroparks commitment to providing clean, safe, natural parks."

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