A dog attack inside a Murrieta home improvement store sent a 3-year-old boy to the hospital and an Akita into quarantine.
The attack happened around 11:45 a.m. Saturday at the Lowe’s garden center at 24701 Madison Ave.
According to Murrieta police, the dog’s owner let the boy pet the dog when it lashed out, biting the child on the jaw, neck, forehead and below his right eye. That’s when the man grabbed his dog and left.
The boy was taken to the Inland Valley Regional Medical Center, where he had about 50 stitches. He has since been transferred to Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego and is in stable condition.
Police say the dog’s owner is a regular Lowe’s customer. Officers found the 62-year-old man at his home, less than a mile from the store. The man told police he fled because he was afraid his dog would be taken away.
The Akita is currently being quarantined. It’s unclear if the Riverside County District Attorney will press charges against the owner.
Before officers located the man, they asked for the public’s help to find him.
Witnesses described the owner as an older man with an average build, dark hair, a bald spot and salt-and-pepper facial hair. He was wearing a light-colored collared shirt and dark denim pants at the time of the dog attack.
The Akita was described as brown with black and white markings, possibly wearing a red collar or tag that said “Clark” on it.
Lowe’s initially refused, but have since given police surveillance video.