This post was updated at 5:44 p.m. Dec. 28 with surveillance photos; originally posted at 2:10 p.m. Dec. 28
Murrieta police are seeking to identify the owner of an Akita dog that bit a 3-year-old boy in public Saturday, sending him to the hospital.
At about 11:40 a.m. Saturday, the Akita was being walked on a leash by an unidentified man in the garden center of Lowe’s, 24701 Madison Ave., when the dog “lashed out” at the boy, according to Murrieta police Sgt. Jay Froboese.
The boy was rushed by ambulance to Inland Valley Regional Medical Center, where he was in stable condition as of 1 p.m., according to Froboese. He was being treated for several deep puncture wounds to his neck, jaw, forehead and below his right eye that will require stitches.
In the meantime, police are seeking the dog’s owner, who reportedly left the scene before officers arrived.
Witnesses described him as an older man of average height and weight with dark hair, a bald spot and partially gray facial hair. He was wearing a white or light gray-colored collared shirt and blue or dark gray denim pants.
The dog was described as brown with black and white marks. Froboese said one witness believes the dog may have been wearing a red collar or dog tag with the name “Clark” on it.
Police worked with Lowe’s to obtain video stills of the man, which are attached to this article.
Anyone who may have information that would help police identify the man was asked to call 951-696-3615 and ask for the on-duty watch commander.