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Michigan dog owner offered plea deal after pit bull attack

Oftentimes when we hear about dog bites or attacks, they involve an animal whose owner did not take the right steps to ensure the safety of those encountering the animal. This might be failing to keep a dog leashed or fenced in a yard, for example, or the dog might have been poorly trained or mistreated.

A dog bite case that is currently taking place in Bay City, Michigan, is much different. In this case the dog's owner is accused of intentionally siccing his pit bull on another man, and he is now facing both criminal charges and a civil personal injury lawsuit.

According to prosecutors in the criminal case, the 28-year-old dog owner and a 24-year-old man got into a fight at the dog owner's house in September. The dog then joined in and bit both men. According to the 24-year-old, during the altercation the dog owner commanded his dog to attack him.

Two other people who were in the home tried to break up the fight and also were bitten by the dog.

While the 24-year-old man has said the dog owner attacked him without provocation, the dog owner has argued that he asked the 24-year-old to leave his home and when he refused to do so they began fighting.

The dog owner is now facing criminal charges for felony assault with intent to cause great bodily harm, aggravated assault, assault with a dangerous weapon and two counts of having a dangerous animal causing injury.

Prosecutors have offered him a plea deal under which he would plea guilty to several of the charges and agree to the extermination of his pit bull. In return, prosecutors would recommend probation rather than incarceration.

The civil lawsuit is currently pending. In the aftermath of a dog bite or attack, filing a personal injury lawsuit against the owner is another way to hold the dog owner accountable as well as obtain compensation for one's injuries and pain and suffering.

Source: MLive.com, "Bay County pit bull owner faces tough choice: Put dog down or face felony trial," Dec. 10, 2012

  • More information about Michigan's dog bite laws are available on our Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti law firm's website.

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