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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.

Jeff Kleiner December 30, 2013 at 05:45 PM
LOL.......go cheer Ted CRuz, bring your CONFEDERATE FLAG, semi-automatic weapons and the Bible you own that never mentions helping the poor.
Sew Good December 30, 2013 at 05:48 PM
Malibush- why do you bring your 2 dogs to Lowes? What's wrong with leaving them in the car or at home? Isn't it kind of ignorant to go out shopping with dogs where there are other patrons around and then expect kids and everyone to give you space? A lot of kids actually know better than to pet a strange dog but when you see them on a leash, in a store full of people, I want to assume the dog is gentle and passive. I just don't get why they have to go out to do all your shopping with you. It's an animal !!
Steve Newman December 30, 2013 at 05:53 PM
Convict Kleiner- what does that gibberish have to do with the article?. Absolutely nothing-your basic mantra-troll for a story where I posted and jump on with your nonsense. This is why you should be kept off the Patch- you are a big waste of every ones time
Steve Newman December 30, 2013 at 05:54 PM
DB- can't tell if it is Convict Kleiner- he is not in a wheel chair crying about Obamcare failures. Short toad looking dude- maybe.
Steve December 30, 2013 at 06:14 PM
I'm sure Lowe's stockholders approved this rule at their meetings to get an edge on business so let them pay instead of the guy getting sued for everything he's worked for 'cos he didn't realize his dog was such a ticking time bomb.
DB December 30, 2013 at 06:17 PM
Hey Malibush., are you special? Do the signs "no Dogs" mean anything? I know for a fact this store has a big sign out front. I have 2 Rotties and a German Shepherd cruising my 3 acres, I would NEVER expose them to the garbage that walks in and out of the stores out in the IE.....People are morons and do not realize that my dog is not for your enjoyment, if you want to pet a dog, go rescue one......I cannot tell you how many times I have had a small child at a park come up and just start petting one of my rotties....great parenting.........
Jeff Kleiner December 30, 2013 at 06:23 PM
weapons + attack dogs + conservatism = FEAR and ultimately cowardice!!!! Be afraid DB, be very afraid. LOL
... December 30, 2013 at 06:26 PM
These dog bite apologists and their disgraceful suggestion that a 3 year old, or his parents, are to blame for this are a special kind of disgusting excuse for human beings. A child is physically and emotionally scarred for life and your instant response is to cast blame on that child for fear that you might have to question your perverted infatuation with dogs. You are the worst kind of evil, spreading your vitriol against a tiny child. You are no doubt too disturbed to be ashamed yet I say, how dare you!
John Smith December 30, 2013 at 06:39 PM
Jeff an arsenal +knowledge of weapons= no fear and no victimhood. Liberals have a victim mentality and Conservatives empower themselves. Jeff you epitomize a typical lying , insane, parasitic, and stupid Liberal.
John Smith December 30, 2013 at 06:42 PM
The dog must be put down . The owner must be charged and arrested for fleeing the scene. It is disgusting that the dog owner cared more about the dog than the child. The dog is nothing compared to the child. The dog owner needs to pay for this in EVERY way. He is responsible for the dog and its actions.
DB December 30, 2013 at 06:56 PM
John, I agree, this guy blew it...I am not convinced the dog needs to be put down...assessed and potentially re-homed through the Akita rescue, yes, but put down, really depends on the history of the dog....If this kid walked up behind a poodle and scared it and got bit, should the poodle be destroyed? We do not know the circumstances behind it. Unfortunately, it is an Akita, and most likely will loose its life over this move.....very sad for all, I do hope the kid heals and I hope the parents learned a lesson as well, but I doubt it, the lesson they will take from this is to make sure you hire a good attorney to maximized the lawsuit their kid will never see a dime of........ I do hope the owners loose their home over it....As for them never owning dogs, just as the parents in this will be able to have another child to raise stupidly, the dog owners will get another Akita.
Maggie Avants (Editor) December 30, 2013 at 06:59 PM
UPDATE: Police Identify Owner of Akita Who Attacked Boy, 3; Dog Quarantined http://murrieta.patch.com/groups/police-and-fire/p/police-identify-owner-of-akita-who-attacked-boy-3-dog-quarantined
John Smith December 30, 2013 at 07:06 PM
DB I agree that I was harsh about putting the dog down. You may be right. It is just beyond disgusting and disturbing that the man left the scene with a child bleeding with fifty stitches worth of injuries. Where was his concern for the child?
NELLY December 30, 2013 at 07:23 PM
I do agree Akita should not be put down, instead re-homed through Akita rescue! As far as saying the parents probably didn't learn a lesson only about hiring a lawyer and being sue happy and spending all the child's money! That's BS, no one knows anything about these parents and that is very harsh to say! This Dad probably had his mind on why is was at lowes to began with as we all tend to do when at a store! You can't put blame on this dad! So your saying if this child was shot at lowes then dads to blame for not jumping in front of child and taking bullet ?? BS this dad went to lowes to buy what he needed for his home and took his child with him! God atleast this is a dad that is in his child's life And being a dad to this child! Damn people are always quick to judge! You never know about a person in till you really know that person! Lets stop judging people and instead start having some compassion!! As far as the dog owner loosing his house, come on!! Yes this is his fault and he deserves to pay all medical bills and for leaving the scene! Charges should be pressed by loosing his house and being homeless come on guys stop!! People are so crazy!!
Light Load December 30, 2013 at 09:19 PM
This "WAS" my neighbor..... he walked like he was drunk because he had a stroke and had a hard time talking due to the stroke, he used to walk to Stater brothers on Hancock and Los Alamos, when I would see him i would pick him up and drive him.... he "MATTERED" http://www.pe.com/local-news/local-news-headlines/20101209-murrieta-man-dies-two-months-after-dog-attack.ece
dorenda December 30, 2013 at 09:32 PM
Home Depot also allows "any dog" into their store... I always thought it was wrong to allow a non-service dog into public places. I always felt bad for customers and employees with allergies to dogs, fear of dogs, and parents having to shield their children FROM dogs. I love my dog and he goes where the dogs go... the vet, the groomer, the dog park, doggie day care, pet stores, etc. I go where the humans go and that's how it needs to be. Everyone is so afraid of "offending someone" and now a little boy has been traumatized for life :-(
Smalltown Boy December 31, 2013 at 02:12 AM
If Lowe's is refusing to cooperate with tje police, customers can show their disappointment by driving a mile down the street to shop.
David Milligan December 31, 2013 at 10:52 AM
!st. Lowes should be sued. 2.nd Since when did dogs become fully permitted to go into stores with idiot pet owners? Lowes, Home Depot and like stores lower the shopping experience to the majority when allowing this kind of practice. Both Lowes and that idiot with the dogs fully deserves a substantial punishment. Could have killed the kid. Oh yeah, we are politically correct to these to minority groups such as dog owners who bring them to the store. Should we apologize? Also, this is not a dog issue, again it is an owner suffering from a case of "My dog would never hurt a fly" syndrome. A massive form of stupidity and ignorance. And who loses......The KID. Moron.
Sew Good December 31, 2013 at 05:11 PM
Who said Lowes is refusing to cooperate with police?
Maggie Avants (Editor) January 02, 2014 at 07:20 PM
UPDATE: Police Arrest Owner of Akita That Bit 3-Year-Old in Lowe's http://murrieta.patch.com/groups/police-and-fire/p/police-arrest-owner-of-akita-that-bit-3yearold-in-lowes
livinsloher January 02, 2014 at 09:30 PM
people leave your pets at home or take them to a dog park they really have no business in these stores unless a service dog as this is what can happen. I had brought my dog in this store which she had never bitten before however did nip at someone. which was an employee. I have heard managers tell people not to bring their dogs in that store and now I know why. plus kids sometimes do not ask to pet and we all assume the pets are friendly however these things happen all the time and believe me my dog never did this before then and I was in the plant section as well
Michael January 02, 2014 at 09:49 PM
According to my dad who told my family about the story, the boy was with his parents, and he asked if he could pet the dog. The owner pulled the dog closer to him and he said yes. Then thats when the boy got closer and the dog bit his face. If the owner had stayed, then in my opinion, no one would be in the wrong. It's just another owner who allowed someone to pet their dog, which people do a lot. The dog being a fierce dog didn't like it a bit the boys face, owner didn't know that would happen. Parents, innocently let their boy pet the dog as do many parents let their children do that. And the boy just thought he was petting a dog. So no one was in the wrong UNTIL the owner left. If the owner had stayed, yes, he would be sued but would have no reason to get arrested because he wasn't in the wrong at first. And honestly, leave Lowes out of this, people bring their dogs to stores all the time, it's not their fault. The dog, shouldn't be put down, because it's a tough dog and the parents might not have known that, and the owner might've thought that the dog was friendly because this has never happened. My mom had a pitbull when she was young that was perfectly fine and nice, but the neighborhood kids would make fun of it and laugh at it. One day, a kid got right in front of its face and starting making fun of it and the dog bit the kids face. Another story of a dog who was innocently fine and nice who just couldn't hold it in anymore.
ChrisG January 02, 2014 at 09:50 PM
He should not have pets as he obviously cannot handle one. The dog should be put down or placed where there can be positively no contact with children.
ChrisG January 02, 2014 at 10:04 PM
@michael. According to the updated article, this dog has a history of aggressiveness with children. Humans are more important than animals. The dog should be killed.
Michael January 03, 2014 at 12:48 AM
That's what is wrong with society. "Hey, guys us humans have attacked each other and harmed each other but it's perfectly fine. Oh no, a dog just did that, we have better kill it right now because it is bad if a dog is more powerful than a human. But it's not bad if a human is more powerful than a human." We kill animals when they invade community even though thats what we did to them when we first settled. Don't kill the dog because we are just to ignorant and think we way better than animals because we are just monsters.
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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