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Charges sought in fatal dog mauling case near Yuma

YUMA — The Imperial County Sheriff’s Office plans to pursue charges against the owner of the pack of dogs that fatally mauled a man last month near the California-Arizona border.

Sgt. Scott Sheppeard said the office is sending a report of its investigation into the death of Gordon Lykins of Winterhaven, Calif., to the Imperial County District Attorney’s Office in El Centro.

Sheppeard said authorities “feel we have enough information that we want the district attorney to move forward with pressing charges. We expect charges could be filed as soon as sometime next week.”

Sheppeard said the charges being sought pertain to the owner maintaining a public nuisance and not properly securing the 11 dogs he owns.

He said it will be up the district attorney’s office to decide if any additional, more serious charges are warranted.

Lykins, 48, was attacked March 28 while walking along a drainage canal road about 8 miles north of Yuma.

He died April 10 at Banner Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center in Phoenix, where he was taken after the attack.

Sheppeard said Lykins suffered multiple dog bites all over his body and eventually had to have both legs and one arm amputated.

Investigators still are uncertain what provoked the dogs to attack Lykins.

Sheppeard declined to identify the dogs’ owner because no charges have been filed in the case yet.

Winterhaven is a small community that sits on the California-Arizona state line just north of Yuma.

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