Man accused of releasing pit bull during argument arrested on suspicion of assault

A 26-year-old man was arrested after he released his pit bull during an argument with another man in North Park Sunday night and the dog bit the victim several times, police said.

The victim, a 50-year-old man, suffered dog bites to his face and his arm. He was transported to a hospital for treatment after the attack in an alley near the intersection of El Cajon Boulevard and Kansas Street around 9:10 p.m., police said.

As the two men were arguing, the dog’s owner had threatened to release his dog before he slipped the collar off the dog and it attacked the man, police Sgt. Joe Ruvido said.

According to the county jail website, the man was being held in lieu of $30,000 bail and on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon not involving a firearm. Officers with the San Diego Humane Society took custody of the dog.

As is the case whenever a dog bites a human, the pit bull has been placed under a 10-day quarantine to ensure it does not have rabies, according to Steve MacKinnon, the chief of humane law enforcement at the San Diego Humane Society.

Because the dog was allegedly used as a weapon, it is also being held in protective custody as evidence, MacKinnon said. After the dog’s owner is arraigned in Superior Court, the Humane Society expects to get a better idea from the District Attorney’s office about how long the pit bull will need to be held.

Depending on what evidence emerges in the investigation, the pit bull could be designated as dangerous, and certain sanctions would be placed on the dog and its owner, including rules that it always be leashed and muzzled in public, MacKinnon said.

If the animal has been trained as an attack dog or is otherwise deemed too dangerous, the Humane Society could seek to euthanize it, according to MacKinnon.

Staff writer Alex Riggins contributed to this report.

Twitter: @karenkucher

(619) 293-1350


2:50 p.m.: This article was updated with additional details.

12:00 p.m. This article was updated with additional details.

This article was originally posted at 7:25 a.m.

Copyright © 2019, © 2019, The San Diego Union-Tribune, LLC. All rights reserved.