AKRON, Ohio — An Akron woman faces nearly two dozen charges after three of her dogs went on a rampage last month, mauling four people in two separate attacks. One victim says something should have been done about the woman and her dogs a long time ago.
“She’s proven herself over and over again to be an irresponsible dog owner and to be incapable of taking care of her animals,” said Sarah Friddle.
Friddle believes the serious injuries she suffered during a frightening dog attack on March 4 in an east Akron neighborhood could have been prevented. A bystander helped save Sarah, who is a social worker and was visiting a client on Reed Avenue.
“I didn’t see it coming, stepped out, shut my car door and there they were — three dogs. They just attacked me before I even saw them,” she said.
The three pit bulls have since been put down and their owner, 58-year-old Diane Yanke, has been charged with 21 criminal counts related to the attack on Sarah on three other people that day. Akron city prosecutors said it’s the fourth time Yanke’s dogs have been involved in incidents since September.
“Virtually the only punishment she received was being put on doggie probation,” said a frustrated Friddle.
The new charges against Yanke include having vicious dogs, causing serious physical harm and operating a kennel. Prosecutors say she had six dogs when the law allows up to four.
Yanke also faces charges specifically geared to Akron pit bull owners, for not having her pit bulls properly secured, properly insured or vaccinated.
“I’m not anti-pit bull, I’m anti-irresponsible ownership,” Friddle said.
We stopped by Yanke’s home, but a man who came to the door said they had no comment. After six weeks of healing, Sarah plans to return to work next week.
“I started the first few weeks not able to walk at all. I walked with a walker and then moved up to a cane because I’m missing a chunk of muscle out of the back of my leg. It’s taken a long time and grueling physical therapy to get to where I can even walk again,” said Friddle.
Yanke is due in court on April 26.
City prosecutor Gertrude Wilms said authorities are talking to victims and evaluating her prior cases to determine what sentence to recommend this time. Whatever it is, they would like for it to include a five year probation, with the stipulation that Yanke not be allowed to own pets during that time.