July 30, 2014

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Mailman sues North Ridgeville ‘Chicken Man’ over dog bite

NORTH RIDGEVILLE — The city’s “Chicken Man” has been sued over an alleged 2009 dog bite of a Lorain mailman.

According to a lawsuit filed Tuesday in Lorain County Common Pleas Court, Anthony Mark Vicens, a Lorain resident and mail carrier, sustained “multiple bite marks” to his right and left shins, his left leg and calf muscles as well as lacerations and abrasions and other injuries when he was bitten by a male Yorkie on Aug. 10, 2009, as he delivered mail at the Hatchery Antique Mall at 7474 Avon Belden Road.

The business is owned by Richard Monaco, who also is identified as “The Chicken Man” in the suit.

Monaco gave himself the moniker some time ago following a number of publicized incidents involving squabbles with neighbors and the city over chickens he raises at the business and that occasionally got loose and wandered onto nearby properties.

The suit alleges Vicens received “severe permanent, disfiguring and debilitating injuries” resulting from bites made by a 9-year-old male Yorkie named Teddy. The suit claimed Vicens suffered numerous ailments and problems stemming from the dog bites, which ranged from headaches, emotional distress, depression, loss of sleep, nightmares, and fear of dogs to “aggravation of pre-existing conditions of right and left foot surgeries” that occurred in 2000 and 2002.

The suit, filed by North Ridgeville attorney Robert Gray, contends those in charge of the dog failed to take steps to protect Vicens from the dog.

The dog was owned by Monaco’s girlfriend, Monaco said.

“It was under my care at the time. I was dog-sitting for my girlfriend at the time,” Monaco said. “This wasn’t a Rottweiler. It was a little 5-pound dog.”

Monaco said he didn’t see the dog bite happen.

“The mailman never reported it to me that day. I do remember that,” he said.

Calls to North Ridgeville attorney Robert Gray, who is representing Vicens, were not returned. The suit seeks compensatory damages in excess of $25,000.

Monaco said last month that he plans to sell his business and leave the area, citing health problems and harassment by the city and neighbors.

Contact Steve Fogarty at 329-7146 or sfogarty@chroniclet.com.