Charges unlikely in double drowning
Eudora police say youth tried to kill reluctant pit bull
By Woodrow Wilkins Jr. / Delta Democrat Times
EUDORA, Ark. -- A local teenager probably will not be charged with a crime for his role in the abuse of a pit bull, which eventually led to another teenager and his father drowning.
Glen Anderson, an investigator with the Eudora Police Department, said the animal had been trained to fight, and the drownings were the result of an attempt to kill the dog for refusing to fight.
The pit bull is in the custody of an animal shelter and its condition has improved, Anderson said on Tuesday.
The saga started when police were called to 731 Baker St., the site of an abandoned cotton gin. Anderson said the call came in at 9:30 p.m. on Dec. 8.
"Lynn Jones, 17, reported to the dispatcher that Eugene Weston Jr., also 17, had fallen into a big, concrete hole at the old Pylates Gin," Anderson said. "When emergency services arrived, there was some water in the hole, and they didn't see anybody."
Anderson explained that the gin was being torn down by its present owner. The drownings occurred in a pit that had been used as a drain when the plant was operational.
He described the pit as being 20 feet deep, 20 feet wide and about eight feet across.
"It had about eight feet of water in it," Anderson said.
According to the report, Eugene Weston Sr. walked upon the scene before emergency personnel arrived. When Jones told the man his son had fallen into the pit, the elder Weston tried to get him out, but he couldn't reach the youth. In his attempt to save his son, the elder Weston also drowned.
"It's got no rails, no ladder, no way to get out of it without being pulled out from the top," Anderson said of the pit.
Emergency workers were able to find the bodies by using "long ladders" and poles.
The process was complicated because there was no lighting, and there was oil in the water, Anderson said.
"The water was running off them poles like molasses," he said, adding that he believes people had thrown old diesel cans into the pit over the years.
"We had a pump and tried to pump it down while they were looking for the bodies," Anderson said. "We pumped out a foot (of water), and it was still pretty deep."
The pit was drained the next morning to ensure there were no other bodies.
Anderson explained that with the property being abandoned, the pit had been covered with heavy "plates," to prevent anyone from falling in. "Four of those plates had fallen in."
After the drownings, Jones said Eugene Weston Jr. had intentions of drowning the pit bull because the animal refused to fight. It was old and mistreated, so it cowered from other animals, Anderson said.
"It's illegal, but it happens," he said of the pit bull fights. "We can't catch them all."
The detective said the animal was scared.
"It was mistreated badly," he said. "It lost its spirit."
Jones told investigators the younger Weston tried moving one of the plates out of the way, but fell in.
"It took three of us to move one of them," Anderson said, pointing out that the weight was too much for one teenager.
The Chicot County district attorney has been notified, but Anderson said he did not anticipate charges being filed.
Meanwhile, the pit bull has been fed and taken care of, so now it has "fat on it" while the shelter owner tries to find a home for it.