TEXARKANA, Texas–A man whose dogs allegedly left a 9-year-old boy with severe bite injuries earlier this month is being held in the Bowie County jail on a charge of injury to a child with a $100,000 bond.
Ray Lee Cockrell, 59, was repeatedly warned by law enforcement about the reportedly menacing pack of canines but did nothing to control them, according to a probable cause affidavit. The boy and some friends were walking back to his grandparent’s house on Sept. 5 after swimming in Gifford Hill pond when the attack occurred.
A 12-year-old relative of the alleged victim provided Bowie County Sheriff’s Office investigators with an eyewitness account. The wounded boy was taken by ambulance to a Texarkana hospital for treatment.
Cockrell’s allegedly unruly dogs have been the subject of multiple complaints since July, according to the affidavit.
“With just the incidents reported to the sheriff’s office, Ray Cockrell’s dogs have been identified as the animals that have chased livestock, were aggressive to humans, have killed a neighbor’s dog and have now caused a terrible injury to a 9-year-old child,” the affidavit said.
Deputies who feared they would be mauled reportedly shot at a group of 12 to 15 dogs on Cockrell’s property on Hickory Wood Drive in Texarkana on Aug. 25, after responding to a call about a man and his mother being intimidated by the animals that day on south State Line Avenue, the affidavit said.
A man riding a scooter near Cockrell’s house on Aug. 13 reported the dogs came at him, getting hold of his pants but not making contact with his skin. While deputies were responding to that call, they received a report that a horse in the area had been attacked resulting in punctures and cuts to the animal’s back legs.
The horse owner made a prior report on July 13 after two of their animals suffered dog bite injuries to their necks and legs, the affidavit said. Cockrell allegedly admitted to making no effort to pen his dogs and received a “dogs dangerous to animals” notice that date.
A neighbor allegedly complained on July 12, just a day before the first report of attacks on horses, that one of his dogs was killed after five of Cockrell’s dogs got into a pen on his property on south State Line Avenue.
“The deputy went to Ray Cockrell’s home, but due to being surrounded by about 10 aggressive dogs, the deputy contacted Texarkana animal control to assist him. Ray Cockerell was contacted, and an attempt was made to capture the dogs, but all of them escaped and Ray Cockrell left before the deputy did,” the affidavit said.
Cockrell was arrested on a charge of injury to a child by omission, assault with bodily injury, last week and remains in custody at the Bowie County jail. He faces six months to two years in a state jail if convicted.
Records show that a misdemeanor charge of resisting arrest has also been filed and that bond on that alleged offense is set at $5,000.