Melissa Wolke, 38, allegedly refused officers’ orders to call off her ferocious dog

By KC Baker
January 13, 2020 12:40 PM
Melissa Wolke, 38, of Kentucky
Kentucky State Police

A Kentucky woman faces murder charges after she allegedly ordered her pit bull to attack a man she was assaulting, say authorities.

On Friday, Melissa Wolke, 38, of Mount Vernon, was arrested and charged with murder in the death of Donald Abner, 55, of Richmond, multiple outlets including local stations WLEX-TV, WKYT-TV and WTVQ-TV report.

She is also charged with resisting arrest and alcohol intoxication.

Early Friday, police in Rockcastle County received a 911 call about a woman allegedly “jumping up and down” on a man and assaulting him while her pit bull mauled him, an arrest citation states, WKYT reports.

The neighbor who called 911 told the dispatcher that Wolke was allegedly punching a man and commanding her pit bull to attack him, the arrest citation says.

When police arrived at the home on Pug Lane on U.S. 25, they allegedly found Wolke in the backyard, sitting on the victim and punching him in the face, the arrest citation states, WLEX reports.

The dog bit the man while she was allegedly punching him, the arrest citation says.

“The way I look at it, she used her animal, a pit bull, as a weapon to help her in this altercation,” Kentucky State Police Trooper Scottie Pennington told WKYT.

“She appeared to have blood on her hands and feet and had a large clump of hair in her hands that was consistent with the victim’s hair,” police said, according to WLEX.

Wolke allegedly refused to call off her dog when officers ordered her to command it to stop, WTVQ reports.

Officers had “no option but to eliminate the dog” when it attacked them, the arrest citation says.

Wolke had to be Tasered because she was allegedly “belligerent and aggressive,” police said.

Abner was pronounced dead at the scene by the Rockcastle County Coroner’s Office, WKYT reports.

When questioned by police, Wolke allegedly said she was going “redneck” on the man, WLEX reports.

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She confirmed she owns the pit bull, named Denali, WLEX reports.

Authorities are still investigating what led to the incident.

Pennington said that he was told Wolke and the man “were kind of friends,” he told WKYT. But then there was “an altercation…the situation went bad and now we’ve got a dead person,” he said.

The man suffered bite wounds on his face, neck and head.

An autopsy is being conducted to determine how the man died.

“They’ll be able to tell if it was a gun shot, a dog bite, or heart attack,” Pennington said, WLEX reports.

Wolke has not yet entered a plea. It is unclear if she has retained an attorney who can speak on her behalf. She remains held in police custody.

Kentucky State Police did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s requests for comment.