Crime or Freakish Accident?

Can a dog leash be considered a weapon?
By Julia Lane, October 2009, Updated June 2021

Bob Head of San Jose, Calif., is angry and I don't blame him. While on her daily walk last week, his 62-year-old wife, Beverly, was tripped by a dog leash, hit her head and died the next day of her injuries. The "culprit" was a cyclist whose two Huskies were on leash running alongside him. According to the local police, the cyclist did not break any law and therefore no crime was committed. Mr. Head disagrees and wants lawmakers to address it to prevent future deaths. Do you think it should be illegal to bike with your leashed dog?

Julia Lane owns Spot On K9 Sports, a training facility in the Chicago area, and offers online dog-sport coaching. She is the author of several travel books, and her byline has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Poets & Writers and elsewhere.