Johnny Dale Lankford

Woman killed in dog attack

An Arjay woman was killed Christmas Eve by a dog attack that left her husband injured.

According to a news release from the Bell County Sheriff’s Office, Deputy Robin Venable responded to a call of a dog attack in the Wieser Branch area of Arjay at approximately 10:20 a.m. Sunday. Venable, along with the Bell County EMS, was the first to arrive on scene.

Venable stated that in his investigation he found that Johnny Saylor “woke up at his home looking for his wife, Lorraine, who was normally awake before him. His search lead him outside to his porch where he was attacked by two dogs described as both being pit bulls. The dogs grabbed Johnny Saylor, attempting to pull him to the ground by his arm.”

The release continues that Johnny Saylor’s brother “heard the commotion and came outside yelling at the dogs. They released Johnny and he went back into his home to get a .22 caliber pistol. He used the pistol to shoot one of the pit bulls in the chest as it lunged at him. After being shot, the dog ran from the scene…”

“Saylor then searched for his wife in the front of the house and discovered her lying on the ground. As he was checking on her, the second pit bull was standing a short distance away from him. Fearing for his life, Johnny Saylor shot the dog killing it,” Venable continued.

Saylor sustained injuries to his arm and head in the incident and he was transported by Bell County EMS to the Pineville Community Hospital.

Bell County Coroner Jay Steele arrived on the scene and confirmed the death of Lorraine Brock Saylor, 66, at 10:40 a.m., according to a news release from his office. He ordered an autopsy as part of his investigation, which was scheduled to take place on Tuesday in Frankfort.

Patsy Bracken with Bell County Animal Control took charge of the deceased dog involved in the incident, Steele added.

Upon further investigation Venable found that the dogs belonged to Johnny Dale Lankford, 42, who was already lodged in the Bell County Detention Center on charges lodged Dec. 22, including second-degree assault (domestic violence), second-degree unlawful imprisonment and a bench warrant. He was being held on a $25,000 bond.

After an interview at the detention center, Venable charged Lankford with harboring a vicious animal.

The BCSO was notified at approximately 2 p.m. Dec. 25 that the second dog wounded by gunshot during the fatal attack had returned to the residence. A news release states that the dog was put down by the BCSO and Bell County Animal Shelter.

The BCSO, Kentucky State Police, Bell County Animal Control, Bell County EMS and the Bell County Coroner all coordinated efforts at the scene.