Mother of Child Killed in Zoo Mauling Will Not Be Charged

The Allegheny County District Attorney's Office will not pursue criminal charges against the mother of 2-year-old Maddox Derkosh.

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

However, KDKA reports 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.


What do you think of the decision not to pursue criminal charges? Do you think the zoo should face negligence charges in the incident? Tell us in the comment section below.

Rachel November 29, 2012 at 03:32 AM
It is not the Zoo's fault, it's the mothers' fault for lifting her son up there, there are signs all over the zoo saying not to put your child on the railing, The zoo should not be charged the mother should be
Bill November 29, 2012 at 01:21 PM
I don't think either should be charged. The Mother will be hurting the rest of her life. Signs are put up for peoples safety. How can you charge the zoo? I have been to the zoo in Philadelphia and there is one place that we thought should be wired off or a wall because an dog like that or a lion could take a running leap and get out. Then I would say that the zoo should of had better safety for a child. This case it is very sad what happened. I understand the mother just wanted her son to see better she made a horrible mistake.
LisaP November 29, 2012 at 05:37 PM
Neither should be charged. Mom made a terrible mistake and will suffer forever, the zoo put up signs in the first place and will now modify the exhibit even more.


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