UPDATE: Leash Law Approved for Portions of Rusk County
By BETTY WATERS
HENDERSON — Rusk County Commissioners this morning adopted a leash law for portions of the county.
The meeting was packed with people calling for the county to take a tougher stance against pit bull dogs.
Last month a 10-year-old Justin Clinton was mauled to death by pit bull dogs near Leverett’s Chapel School.
Before the meeting, 60 to 70 people gathered on the steps of the Rusk County Courthouse calling for the banning of pit bull dogs.
They hope what would be called “Justin’s Law” would outlaw ownership of pit bull dogs across the nation.
Among those attending the protest was Cynthia Kent, a Tyler attorney who served for several years as a district judge in Tyler.
Serena Clinton and Kevin Clinton, parents of Justin Clinton, speak during an interview this morning in front of the Rusk County Courthouse.
Mrs. Kent called the death a “senseless and preventable tragedy.”
She and others vowed to take the fight to ban pit bull dogs to the national level. Mrs. Kent said she would speak with U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert of Tyler about the prospect of national legislation.
Commissioner adopted the leash law for the Elderville and Airport Garden areas. A public hearing on enacting restrictions had previously been held for those communities. The court agreed to look at expanding the leash law to other areas.
The court also adopted a resolution calling for the banning of pit bulls throughout the nation.
Michael Jimerson, county and district attorney, said the county is limited to what it can do to prevent pit bull dog attacks.
In another action, the court accepted $15.78 million as the maximum cost for expansion of the county jail.
Updated Wednesday, July 1, 2009 at 12:20 p.m. CDT