YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — The man accused of having vicious dogs after five of his dogs Monday severely mauled a man on a North Side street has an open animal cruelty case in Girard Municipal Court.
Clarence Thigpen, 62, of Youngstown, is expected to plead guilty Thursday to a charge of cruelty to animals, a second-degree misdemeanor, according to court records there.
Thigpen was arraigned Tuesday in Youngstown Municipal Court on five counts of having a vicious dog, which is a first-degree misdemeanor. The case was set for pretrial hearings Nov. 8 and Nov. 30. He pleaded not guilty.
Thigpen was cited after police said his dogs got out of a fenced-in yard at about 5:30 a.m. Monday in the 2200 block of Logan Avenue and mauled a man who was walking across the street.
Officers said the man’s injuries were horrific, with his throat ripped apart and blood on the street, sidewalk and grass where the dogs dragged him. Officers tried pepper spray and stun weapons before shooting one of the dogs, which ran away and still has yet to be found.
Thigpen took the other four dogs out of the home and gave them to the Mahoning County Dog Warden’s Office, where they are being kept. Police said the home they were at is vacant but has scrap inside the fenced in area and the dogs were guarding the scrap.
Police also said they have been called to the house several times for either housing or animal issues.
The man who was mauled Monday is recovering at St. Elizabeth Health Center.
Girard Municipal Court records show that Thigpen’s case is linked with an animal cruelty charge against Tamika Fussell, 43, who had several dogs taken from a Liberty home of hers in February.
Report said two adult dogs and seven puppies were taken out of the home and a dead dog was found in the backyard. Officers also said they found weapons in the home within reach of a 3-year-old child, and an 8-year-old child was also inside the home. They were placed with Trumbull County Children Services.
Besides the animal cruelty charge, Fussell is also charged with first-degree misdemeanor endangering children and being a felon in possession of a firearm, a third-degree felony.
The felony case has been bound over to Trumbull County Common Pleas Court, along with the misdemeanor.
Court records do not show why Thigpen’s case is linked to Fussell’s. The date of offense in court records is shown as Jan. 1.
Thigpen also pleaded guilty in 2020 in Youngstown Municipal Court to charges of dogs running loose and vaccination of dogs, cats and ferrets, both misdemeanors. He was fined $25 for each charge and assessed a total of $70 in court costs.