A criminal investigation is now underway, for this weekend's brutal pit bull attack. The dogs' owner faces up to ten years in jail, under a new state law passed last month. This is the first case in Lubbock that could be prosecuted under the new legislation.
According to the incident report, the pit bulls escaped from their owner's back yard. He lives on Avenue R. The victim lives on avenue S, and those streets share and alley. The report says that when the victim went to take his trash out, the dogs attacked.
"They just run after people; they chase you and stuff," Ellie Gonzales said.
Gonzales says this isn't the first time the pit bulls have run around the neighborhood, but Sunday's attack terrified her.
"My grand-kids run up and down the street, and they're little. Just yesterday she was sitting out here picking weeds when these dogs were coming this way. It just so happens that they went after the little dogs instead of the little kid," Gonzales said.
According to investigators, the 77-year-old victim was taking the trash out, when he saw the two pit bulls. He says the pits attacked his rat terrier, Patches, first.
"Probably didn't weigh more than 15 pounds and really didn't have much of a chance against two large dogs," Lubbock Animal Service Director Kevin Overstreet said.
The victim says he tried to get the pits off patches, and that's when they turned on him.
"His injuries included a broken arm and puncture wounds to his arms," Overstreet said.
Now, the pit bulls' owner faces a 3rd degree felony charge, and jail time.
"Up to ten years if it causes serious bodily injury," Overstreet said.
The pit bulls will remain in Lubbock Animal Services custody pending a dangerous dog hearing.
"They need to be put away or something; I'm not going to say destroyed because I don't like that, but anyway they need to do something with them," Gonzales said.
The victim's wife tells us they've had Patches for the past eight years, and that he was blind. Her husband had to return to the hospital Monday morning for follow up exams.
The pit bulls will not be euthanized for at least the next ten days, as is required by law and the dangerous dog hearing is required within 20 days.
As of Monday night, the owner is not charged with anything, but with the new law in effect, he could face up to ten years in jail.
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