A 23-year-old Baton Rouge man facing misdemeanor charges of negligent injuring and unlawful ownership of a dangerous dog is now being sued by the elderly woman whose miniature schnauzer was killed by his pit bull in October 2010.
Naomi Smith, who was 91 at the time of the Oct. 14 incident, was injured in the attack.
Smith filed a lawsuit Tuesday against Michael Kopynec and his parents in Baton Rouge state court.
She is seeking damages for, among other things, physical pain and suffering, mental anguish and distress, and loss of enjoyment of life.
Smith claims in the suit that the attack near her home at 2425 E. Contour Drive was “unprovoked’’ and came “suddenly and without warning.’’
Kopynec lives across the street from Smith at 2436 E. Contour Drive.
Smith’s 8-year-old dog, Geaux Sport, was killed and Smith’s right hand, wrist and arm were injured in the attack, the suit states.
Smith’s attorney, Chad Boykin of the McKernan Law Firm, noted Friday that the fatal incident marked the second time Kopynec’s dog attacked Geaux Sport.
“That means nothing was done’’ after the first incident to rectify the situation, Boykin said. “This time she lost her family pet in the process.’’
Kopynec’s dog was “declared dangerous’’ and euthanized late last year, East Baton Rouge Parish Animal Control Center director Hilton Cole said in February after Kopynec pleaded not guilty to the misdemeanor charges.
Kopynec’s next scheduled court appearance in the criminal case is Oct. 24. State District Judge Bonnie Jackson is presiding over that case.
Kopynec’s attorney in that case, James Rothkamm, said his client is doing the best he can to resolve the matter.
“We’ve done everything the (East Baton Rouge Parish) District Attorney’s Office has asked us to do,’’ he said.
Rothkamm said Kopynec reimbursed Smith’s veterinary expenses after the first incident, and paid the medical bills for a dog Smith bought after her schnauzer was killed.
Rothkamm said he could not comment on Smith’s civil allegations. He said he has not been hired to represent the Kopynecs in that case.
Both of Kopynec’s misdemeanor charges, which prosecutors filed against Kopynec in December, carry up to six months in jail.
Smith said previously she was walking her dog about a block from her home on Oct. 3, 2010, when Kopynec alerted her that his dog was loose and advised her to not walk any farther until he found the pit bull.
Soon after, Kopynec’s dog came running down the street and latched onto Geaux Sport’s back side, she said.
Kopynec was able to get his dog off the schnauzer, which had to be stitched up after that attack, Smith said. She said her hand also was injured when she tried to pry the pit bull off her dog.
Eleven days later, Smith said, she was knocked to the curb by Kopynec’s dog while walking Geaux Sport near the front of her home.
When police officers arrived, they found Smith in her front yard, bleeding from her arm and hand. Geaux Sport was dead from wounds he received during the attack.
Smith alleges, among other things, that Kopynec was negligent in failing to keep his dog under proper control and on a leash.
“As a result of the attack Ms. Smith has also been subjected to fear, shock, fright for her life as well as grief and loss of companionship with the loss of her dog,’’ the suit states.
The suit says Kopynec’s parents own the house where he lives, but they live elsewhere.
The suit has been assigned to state District Judge Mike Caldwell.