Pit Bull Owner Faces Questions in Multiple Dog Attacks

Animal control officers investigated a series of attacks involving the same pit bull in response to neighbors asking the animal’s owner be held accountable.

The three incidents involving the pit bull happened on Kobe Drive in Serra Mesa.

One attack happened in 2011. Two other attacks occurred recently – one in August and another last week.

Serra Mesa resident Derek Olson, who has lived in the neighborhood for four years, witnessed two incidents and wanted the dog euthanized.

On August 14, the pit bull got free when its leash broke. It attacked another dog described as a collie, Olson said. The collie was not injured in the attack but the collie’s owner hurt her wrist defending her dog.

Then, on Sept. 13, Olson said he helped separate the same pit bull and another dog. In this incident, Olson said the pit bull was on a leash but its owner did not have control of the animal.

Olson said he struck the dog several times before the pit bull released the injured animal.

“I grabbed the dog pulled it off, threw it on the ground,” Olson said.

“The whole time the owner is yelling ‘I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry,’” he said.

The injured dog suffered a fractured eye socket and several puncture wounds. Its owner may be filing a civil suit for minor injuries he sustained.

Pit bull owner Curtis Christian didn't want to comment when asked about the pending investigation however, he was expected to be interviewed by animal control officers Tuesday.

Fred Marotta has lived next door to the pit bull for three years and said he hasn’t had any issues with the dog.

He said he has seen the dog as very happy and very friendly when it’s playing in the backyard or out on walks.

“I've never seen anything violent or anything aggressive, other than it just being, it’s a very strong dog,” Marotta said.

He said he knows the pit bull’s owners have had the dog for awhile.

Olson however said he was upset that animal control officers have not yet seized the dog yet.

“Where’s the city in all of this,” he asked. “When there’s a clear pattern of aggression here, how long does it take the city really to jump in and do something about it?”

Daniel DeSousa, Deputy Director with San Diego County Department of Animal Services, said the department cannot just take anybody’s dog. By law, dogs are considered property.

There is one animal control officer for every 85,000 people in the jurisdiction, DeSousa said.

“We will respond, we will always respond,” he said. “It just may not be as quick as someone would like.”

His also said the department doesn’t always get involved when two dogs get into a confrontation.

“In situations such as what's been reported with this one, it's something the department may have to look at to see is there something we need to do to protect the public,” DeSousa said.

Animal services impounded the pit bull on Sept. 24. According to officials, the dog was scheduled to be euthanized Oct. 3 at the owner's decision.

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