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David Baxter PhD

Late Founder
Mental health counselor had dogs attack Hurricane Frances refugees
Sun, Sep. 19, 2004
Associated Press

STUART, Fla. - A mental health counselor ordered his two pit bulls to attack a group of people who were riding out Hurricane Frances inside an office building, police said.

Ryan C. Moore, 54, was arrested Friday and charged with aggravated battery for allegedly releasing his dogs with the command "Go get them" while he and a group of people were riding out the Sept. 4-5 storm inside the A.G. Edwards building.

William E. Schoonmaker, who operates an insurance agency in the building two doors from Moore's office, suffered deep bites to his stomach, face, throat and hands. Sabrina Stuart was bitten in the leg, police said. Stuart called 911 during the dog attack, but police couldn't respond because of the storm.

Stuart said she armed herself with a hammer as the dogs roamed loose for an hour. Someone stabbed one of the dogs.

"We were all trapped inside our offices, even though we wanted to get into the hallways where we felt it would be safer away from the glass windows," Stuart said. "Bill Schoonmaker had a bunch of wounds, and I got my first-aid kit and bandaged him up as best I could."

Moore, who treats anger-management problems and addictions, fled the building during the storm and police found him in his stalled car. One of his dogs was given to his estranged wife while the injured dog was treated at an animal clinic.

Kathy Schoonmaker, the bite victim's wife, said she was acquainted with Moore and his family before the attack and was trying to help him shortly before he turned aggressive.

William Schoonmaker was treated at the scene, but went to the emergency room following the storm. He said he has been treated several times in the past two weeks.

Moore, who has previous arrests for domestic violence, sexual assault and aggravated assault with a weapon, was released Friday from the Martin County Jail after posting $100,000 bail.

Moore does not have a listed phone number and could not be reached for comment Sunday. It was not known if he has an attorney.
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