Elderly man attacked by pit bulls last month dies


The elderly Pahrump man attacked by three pit bulls last month has died.

Kenneth Ford, 79, was transported March 13 to University Medical Center’s trauma unit where he remained until his death on Tuesday morning.

The Nye County District Attorney’s office has yet to file charges related to the attack against the dogs’ owner, Ricky Davidson, because the case remains under investigation.

Davidson is currently being held at the Nye County Detention Center on separate charges stemming from previous incidents involving his dogs and drug charges. However, law enforcement is still interviewing witnesses to get a clearer picture of the March incident, and because the dogs had no prior reported attacks on humans.

Ford’s death came the day after the county was granted temporary guardianship of Ford and his estate by Judge Robert Lane because no family members could be located to oversee his medical care.

Nye County Deputy Public Guardian Shirley Trummell said efforts have been underway since Ford was attacked to locate any of his family who are qualified and willing to serve as his guardian.

The county stepped in this week because those efforts were unsuccessful, and will serve as temporary guardian of his estate.

If no family or qualified guardian is located, the county will take permanent guardianship.

“The temporary guardianship, itself, is for 10 days, but I also take in an order to continue guardianship for another sixty days, which will go until June 1,” she said. “If it looks like I have to take permanent guardianship, I’ll file the paperwork. I still don’t know if there’s family.”

Trummell also said Ford’s guardianship will likely be taken over by another county entity.

“Because I don’t know if there’s any family, this matter will be turned over to the public administrator to see if there’s any family.”

The attack occurred at 1091 Black Street when Ford went next door to feed the property owner’s cats. Davidson was a tenant at the property.

According to police, three pit bulls jumped over a six-foot fence and started brutally attacking Ford. During the attack, Ford screamed for help to which his two friends came to his aid and were also attacked by the dogs.

After dragging Ford to safety and closing the gate, the dogs found a hole in the fence and began to attack the man again.

One of the rescuers obtained a gun and shot two of the dogs, but that did little to thwart the attack, as both dogs continued to maul the man after being shot.

Medical crews on scene were able to scare the dogs away by activating the lights and sirens on their emergency vehicles police said.

Nye County Sheriff’s deputies and Animal Control officers were able to capture and secure all of the dogs, one of which was euthanized for injuries sustained from the gunshot.

The other two dogs remain in custody of Tails End Animal Shelter.

Davidson was cited in February 2013 for allowing the dogs to run loose, and on Aug. 19, 2014 when police said the dogs attacked another animal.

An additional citation was given on Sept. 1, 2014 when his dogs were found running loose again.

Davidson had been previously released from jail on his own recognizance for drug charges on a separate case, but has since had his bail revoked and set at $5,000 bond or $499 cash for the drug charges.

He has a second bail at $2,540 bond, or $250 cash, for the March 13 dog attack.

He is due back in court on April 29.