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Police Seek Owner of Dog Who Bit Boy in Lowe's, Sending Him to Hospital

The dog's owner allegedly fled Lowe's in Murrieta following the 11:40 a.m. incident Saturday that left the boy with serious bite injuries.

Surveillance photos courtesy of Murrieta Police Department
Surveillance photos courtesy of Murrieta Police Department

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.

Vic January 03, 2014 at 01:23 AM
If the Akita has to be put down, it's the owners fault. Sad for the dog, but necessary for society. Even if the dog has aggressive tendencies it can be "unlearned" with training. As for whether you should bring your dog anywhere, when in doubt, DON'T!
ChrisG January 03, 2014 at 05:59 AM
@michael. I feel bad that you have such a poor regard for your fellow human beings. It should be obvious that the life of a human is more important than the life of a dog. When people are convicted of murder they are incarcerated or even put to death in some instances. That is what I am calling for in this case. Where do you see a difference?
Michael January 04, 2014 at 08:14 PM
@ChrisG "in some instances" you said that people convicted of murder are incarcerated or put to death. It seems that EVERYTIME an animal kills or hurts a human it is killed but everytime a human hurts or kills a human their punishment isn't always to get the death penalty. So why is it we sometimes let humans off the hook but we never let animals off the hook. I care a lot for my fellow human beings. I'm just curious as to why humans get away with murder sometimes but animals never do. Because most of the time there's a reasoning behind animals killing humans BECAUSE WE MISTREAT THEM and we kill them because they are aggravated from us. Watch Blackfish, it will explain it all.
ChrisG January 05, 2014 at 03:41 PM
@michael, you seem to think animals are as important as humans. They are not. Animals that pose a threat to humans in these types of circumstances need to be put down. In this case the dog owner knew his animal was a very real threat to others in public. He knew that and still brought his pet to Lowes. The dog serves no positive purpose to humanity. Kill it and let's move on. If you still don't get this concept I suggest you speak to yours father. He will straighten you out.
Sew Good January 05, 2014 at 04:37 PM
Exactly. A dog can serve as a weapon for protection. A dog can help you feel safe because you know it will attack at the slightest provocation. This is such an unfortunate circumstance with a little innocent victim and an owner that needs to learn some responsibility with a dangerous animal in public. Humans are masters over beasts, that's the universal law, Michael. Blackfish is just another controversy, it does not explain all, it leaves an inconclusive debate.

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