Mom Will Not Be Charged in Zoo Mauling Case

2-year-old Maddox Derkosh of Whitehall was killed in early November.

The Allegheny County District Attorney's Office will not pursue criminal charges against Elizabeth Derkosh, the mother of the late Maddox Derkosh, who was killed in a tragic mauling accident at the Pittsburgh Zoo in early November.

However, according to KDKA, District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr. is investigating a possible criminal negligence charge against the zoo.

Elizabeth and 2-year-old Maddox, both of Whitehall Borough's Highgrove Road, were visiting the zoo on Nov. 4 when Maddox fell from the top of a platform railing to the ground inside of the pit area of an African painted dogs exhibit, according to a statement from the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police.

Pittsburgh police said that the child lost his balance after his mother lifted him in a standing position onto the 4-foot-high wooden railing that overlooks the enclosure. He was then mauled to death by the dogs.

KDKA reports that Zappala has specifically criticized zoo security, training and zoo officials' response to the accident.


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Kate December 05, 2012 at 01:06 AM
that is the real problem, lack of common sense - in an over 100 yr old zoo, no other tragic "accidents". so let's stop being a society that always places blame on someone else for our actions
Kate December 05, 2012 at 01:17 AM
I don't understand all the attention to the family - start an organization that helps train parents to have common sense. If you put a child in the middle of tracks so they can see the train better, don't blame the engineer that runs them over, and don't expect a memorial in your child's honor
NE12Ukid December 05, 2012 at 12:36 PM
I see your point, Kate, but I don't believe the parents are expecting any such thing. I think it is other people who come up with these ideas, because they are sorry such a thing happened, and they just want to do SOMETHING! I do agree that naming a park after this little one is not appropriate. IMO we should name parks, buildings, bridges, etc after people who have done something positive, not just victims of a horrible accident. But others apparently have a different view.
Bob and Jeanne December 05, 2012 at 02:01 PM
If it is true and a zoo employee did the RIGHT thing and reported actions that might lead to accidents to his/her boss, manager, zoo director and was told that it was not his business, not to concern himself/herself, that they would deal with it, etc. and nothing was ever done to make that area of the zoo where the dogs exhibit is and this tragic accident occurs ......... isn't that somewhat similar to the Penn State cover up where you had someone (McQueery) go to Paterno or the other stooges with their concerns and what he witnessed and NOTHING was done to stop the problem (in that case, rape).
NE12Ukid December 05, 2012 at 06:44 PM
There is one FORMER zoo employee who appeared on the tv news and says his version of what he remembers from when he worked there. May or may not be accurate. No it is not remotely like what happened at Penn STATE!


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