Woman allegedly sicced dog on her mother who was trying to get her to drug rehab

Braquelle Lynn Rutherford, 22, from Indiana, has been charged in connection to a dog attack that caused two people to be injured last Friday. According to Delaware County Court Records, Rutherford is being charged with one count of criminal recklessness with a deadly weapon, domestic battery, and battery.

On May 25th, 911 dispatchers received a call about a domestic incident. An Eaton Police Department officer and two Delaware County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to the scene and found two people who had been bitten by a dog. The two victims, Denise Rutherford, the defendant’s mother, and Meghan Freytag, were both separated and in their own vehicles awaiting medical assistance.

Denise Rutherford was covered in blood with heavy bleeding from her head, and had blood on her thigh and hand from the dog bites. Meghan Freytag had a laceration on her elbow and scratches on her arm. Both victims were taken to a nearby hospital.

Braquelle Rutherford is accused of not properly training her rescue dog, and referring to it as “very aggressive,” and said it needed to be killed, according to the affidavit. She also stated that the rescue center had not yet come to retrieve the dog.

Various versions of the events of the attack were included in the affidavit, one of which was from a witness, Raven Stovall, who was present at the house in Muncie during the incident but was not bitten by the dog. Stovall reported to law enforcement that the defendant’s mother and Freytag had gone to the house to try and get the younger Rutherford to go to rehab, and an argument followed, with Rutherford locking herself in the bathroom.

Stovall then left the house and called the defendant’s ex-girlfriend, when she was followed by the two victims, who chose to wait for the defendant’s father to arrive. At that moment, Braquelle and the dog suddenly came out of the front door, with the defendant shouting for the victims to get to the car.

In the initial interview with law enforcement, Rutherford claimed that while the two victims were leaving, she let the dog out of the cage in order to prevent them from coming back in, but the dog escaped and attacked them, though she did not intend for it to harm anyone.

When interviewed again, the defendant repeated her story, saying that she had previously warned her mother not to go to the house unannounced due to the animal’s aggression. She then said she told the two to go to the car so she could let the dog out, as she had just arrived home, and it somehow got loose and went for Freytag.

Both victims were also interviewed. Denise Rutherford, the defendant’s mother, stated that her daughter was attempting to walk the dog, and that she had told Freytag to go to her car, because the dog was mean, before it got loose and attacked her. Freytag, on the other hand, claimed that Braquelle had warned them both that the dog would “maul” them if they did not leave. Freytag further said that the defendant was holding the dog by the collar, before letting it go, speculating that Braquelle was not in the right state of mind due to drugs. This version of events was then used as basis for the charges.

The deputy turned off his body-worn camera after deciding on the charges, and was then stopped by Braquelle’s father. After informing him and his ex-wife of Freytag’s version of the story, Braquelle’s mother appeared to agree, saying it sounded correct.

In the follow-up interview, the defendant was read her Miranda rights and asked to go over what happened again. She stated that she was trying to let her dog out to use the bathroom when it got off the leash and attacked Freytag, but omitted the part about her mother and Freytag coming to try and get her to go to rehab. As for the mauling threat, Braquelle said that she was only “talking s—” and that she would not have done it. When asked why she did not wait for the others to leave, she said that she should have waited.

Braquelle is currently being held in the Delaware County Jail on a $15,000 bond. Before her arrest, she helped animal control load the dog into a truck. The deputy noted that the dog did appear aggressive and was unable to take pictures due to its behavior, but it was recorded on his body-worn camera.