Knife attack on dog leads to jail time
BY STACI WILSON
Susquehanna County District Attorney Jason Legg described in court Thursday the man who brutally slashed a black Labrador retriever with a knife in August as a “ticking time bomb.”
Daniel Nash, 28, Montrose, pleaded guilty in December 2011 to animal cruelty and also entered a no contest plea to a simple assault charge.
An apology to the court from Nash provoked Joshua Rosenkrans, whose young son witnessed the attack on the dog, to ask, “To whom are you apologizing?”
Nash was sentenced by President Judge Kenneth Seamans Thursday to serve nine to 23-1/2 months on the simple assault count and seven to 23-1/2 months on the animal cruelty charge. He will serve three years probation following his prison term and is not allowed to carry a knife or own a pet while on supervision.
It’s a sentence the dog’s owner, Laura Blackman, said she was disappointed with but also added she felt the district attorney did all he could in the case.
On Aug, 12, 2011, Nash arrived at Blackman’s Bridgewater Twp. residence carrying a knife.
The family dog, “Jameson,” and Rosenkrans’ son were playing in front of the home when Nash arrived.
In court, Legg said, “This wasn’t one slash. It was 18 individual wounds. It was a sustained vicious attack.”
He also spoke of the collective outrage of people across the country who wrote to him about the case
Legg told the court he had received over 70 emails from people “who took time to advocate on Jameson’s behalf.”
He also said people within the community and beyond it contributed over $600 towards the dog’s veterinary bill.
Blackman was awarded over $1190 in restitution to be paid by Nash.
Legg also told the court the young boy suffered as a result of witnessing the incident and added that the event also scarred the dog.
It was more than physical scarring, said the pet’s owners. Since the attack, Jameson has become wary of strangers.
But physical ailments remain. Rosenkrans said Jameson’s back right leg is paralyzed.
Rosenkrans also said his son is doing well but recently asked him if Nash was going to return.
“It bothers me that my son still thinks about it,” Rosenkrans said.
Defense attorney Robert Munley told the court that Nash had no history of cruelty to animals prior to the August incident.
He also told the court that Nash was suffering from mental health issues at the time of the attack but has since been under care and is taking medication.
Legg said, “The mental health issue provides some explanation but it also is a cause for concern if he stops taking his medications in the future.”
Just before passing sentence Judge Seamans said the case brought to mind recent pictures in the local news of a dog that was thrown over a bank.
“It emphasizes that this was a defenseless animal you so ruthlessly attacked,” said the judge.