DETROIT (AP) - A 63-year-old Detroit man whose pit bulls mauled another man violated his court-ordered probation shortly after sentencing and has been on the run for more than a year, a Michigan Corrections spokesman said Friday.
Derick Felton initially met in October 2015 with his probation agent and “has not been back since,” Chris Gautz said. An arrest warrant was issued in November 2015.
Felton’s dogs attacked Steve Constantine as he tried to feed them in 2014. Constantine lost most of his left arm, his left leg below the knee and his left ear. Police killed one dog. Eleven others were captured and euthanized.
Felton was sentenced in September 2015 to two years’ probation for harboring dangerous animals that caused injuries. Then-Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Michael J. Callahan criticized state law that kept him from ordering a prison term.
“You should not only accept responsibility, but undergo imprisonment,” Callahan told Felton at the time. “However, that is not possible in this case.”
Now retired, Callahan said Friday that prosecutors indicated during the case that “it was a non-intentional crime.”
“The harm the victim suffered was very severe,” Callahan said, indicating that Felton would have gotten prison time if Constantine had been beaten. “But that wasn’t the crime charged.”
Not reporting to his probation officer violates Felton’s probation, he added.
“He opens himself up for more punishment than I was able to give,” Callahan said.
Crime Stoppers of Michigan is offering up to $1,000 for information leading to Felton’s arrest.
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