OKLAHOMA CITY – The violent death of a metro man still haunts his family years later.
Edgar Brown was attacked by five pit bull mixes in his own yard in October of 2015 when the dogs got loose from a nearby yard.
“They attacked him, they had him on the ground,” explained his brother, Dexter. “One of them had the back of his neck. The other four had each arm and each leg. He said all he could say was ‘Help.’”
More than three years later, the family has finally closed the final chapter in the legal battle after Brown’s death.
“No human being should have to go through that. It’s terrible,” Brown said through tears.
The family brought a civil lawsuit against the owner of the dogs, Juan Marcos Diaz, an undocumented immigrant. Friday, the court awarded the Brown family $15 million.
The Browns won’t see a dime of that money.
“We’ll never see no money,” said Dexter Brown. “All we ever wanted was to get the guy deported out of here.”
“We knew from the beginning we wouldn’t be able to successfully collect any money on behalf of our client,” explained family attorney Noble McIntyre.
He said even though his firm and the family will see no monetary gain from the large settlement, he was happy to spend money and resources on the case.
“I have three daughters. I want responsible dog owners out there. I don’t want this happening to my daughter or anyone else’s daughter,” McIntyre said.
Diaz, pleaded guilty to manslaughter and served a total of one year in jail.
“Then he was given three months probation but as soon as he was let out of jail, ICE picked him up and deported him back to Mexico with the condition that he not come back to the States,” explained family attorney Noble McIntyre.
Diaz’s lack of citizenship limits the reach of his punishment.
“First of all he’s not here anymore, he’s out of the country, he doesn’t have a job where we can garnish any pay, he didn’t have any home insurance on his home,” McIntyre said. “He was taken out of the country by taxpayer money, he hasn’t faced any consequence other than the year he spent in jail.”
The family, still grieving the loss of a dog-loving man, ironically, to dogs, says they hope the case, and the extensive legal action they took, sends a message.
“It’s totally [the owner’s] responsibility letting those dogs get out like that,” said Brown.
“If Mr. Diaz still lived here, and he still had a job, I’d take this verdict and put him into bankruptcy,” said McIntyre. “I’d be happy to do so because there has to be some accountability. If your dog hurts somebody, you’re going to be held accountable.”