Memorial service planned for man killed in Tucumcari dog attack

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TUCUMCARI, N.M. – We are learning more about the man who was attacked and killed by multiple dogs in Tucumcari on Feb. 1. 

Haley Place told KOB 4 he met Stanley Hartt for the first time at a Tucumcari grocery store, during the pandemic. His first impression of the man was how grateful he was for little things like vegetables, even during a difficult time.

“They were still available, and they were still fresh, and how lucky we were to have the money to pay for them and how glad he was to be in a small town like this,” Place said, reflecting on his first conversation with Hartt.

In November 2022, Hartt wrote about his love for the small town as a guest columnist for the Quay County Sun. He also wrote about his decision to leave Albuquerque two years ago, “unsure of how the next part of my life should go,” he wrote.

“He had ‘wandered between Las Cruces and Amarillo,’ looking for a decent, affordable place to live,’” Place said, reading the words of Hartt’s article. “Looking for that amicable feeling or sense of where he could be. Looking for something between the cracks in the sidewalks or beyond the faces of ordinary people he would see at the grocery store.”

Place said the community is still mourning the sudden and tragic loss of their friend and fellow community member.

“This is not a town that someone dies on the streets, killed by a dog, and we put some flowers out and walk away,”  he said. “This has left our town stunned. This is a tragedy, a heartbroken tragedy.”

That is why Tucumcari residents are planning a memorial service for Hartt at the Immanuel Baptist Church (706 East Hines Ave.) at 3 p.m. on Feb. 26.

“There will be a tree planting, Feb. 26 at 1 p.m. on the site where he was killed,” Place said. “We have our hats in our hands, and we are heartbroken, and anything we can do to help comfort his parents, his friends, his family, we’re here for them.”