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Arrest made in dog-mauling incident

A Medford felon was arrested on drug and animal-abuse charges Thursday after he allegedly let his three pit bulls maul a smaller dog without trying to intervene, then used the dogs to threaten the owner, police said.

Charles Everett Nathan, 36, of the 1700 block of Orchard Home Drive, allegedly let his three pit bulls maul a Jack Russell terrier Wednesday without trying to intervene, leaving the animal with injuries so severe it had to be euthanized.

"This was pretty traumatizing," said Medford police Lt. Kerry Curtis. "You would certainly think (Nathan) would have some compassion for this type of incident."

The attack happened just after 9:30 p.m. Wednesday as a woman walked her terrier on a leash as she entered the South Medford High School driveway, in the 1500 block of Cunningham Avenue.

She told police she passed Nathan as he exited the same driveway. His three pit bulls were leashed, but the woman said she went to the opposite side of the driveway to keep her distance anyway. That's when one of the pit bulls allegedly broke loose, ran at the Jack Russell and attacked. Police said the man then followed with the other two pit bulls, who also joined in.

Nathan would not intervene, police said, allegedly saying pit bulls are "pack animals" and should be left alone when they attack. The terrier eventually stopped moving, which is when the man gathered the three pit bills and left. The terrier's owner followed and yelled at Nathan to stop, but he reportedly threatened her and said he would let his dogs attack her next if she kept following him, police said.

"This has nothing to do with the breed of dog," Medford police wrote in a Facebook post Thursday morning before Nathan's arrest. "It is all about responsible dog ownership."

A police officer who responded to the scene took the injured terrier to Southern Oregon Veterinary Specialty Clinic on Biddle Road, but the injuries were too severe and the animal had to be euthanized.

Nathan was arrested Thursday evening after police sought the public's assistance for leads on social media. He faces felony charges of methamphetamine and heroin possession and misdemeanor charges of menacing and first- and second-degree animal abuse. He was booked in the Jackson County Jail Thursday night on $36,000 bail.

Court records show that Nathan has previous felony convictions for unauthorized use of a motor vehicle in 2014 and 2004, and methamphetamine possession in 2013, among other and misdemeanor convictions.

Jackson County Animal Services has taken possession of the three pit bulls involved, according to a police Facebook post.

Anyone with further information about the case should call Medford police at 541-770-4784.

Reach reporter Ryan Pfeil at 541-776-4468 or rpfeil@mailtribune.com. Follow him at www.twitter.com/ryanpfeil. Nick Morgan contributed to this report.

Charles Nathan