A man was sent to the hospital with “horrendous” bite marks after he was attacked and injured by his dog Friday morning on Front Street, police said.
The attack occurred on 84 Front St. around 11 a.m. Friday. According to Waterville Police Sgt. Alden Wiegelt, the man — whom police did not identify — was the owner of the dog, which was reported by police dispatchers as a PIT BULL.
Wiegelt said the man’s injury was serious enough to require transportation by Delta Ambulance to the hospital, but he said the injuries did not appear to be life-threatening.
The incident appeared to have happened inside the home, as police entered the building with a shield and animal restraining poles before exiting with the leashed dog, which was put into a kennel in the back of a police vehicle.
Later Friday, Waterville Police Chief Joseph Massey said police discovered the injured owner outside with severe bite marks on his legs and arms and with "pieces of flesh" hanging off his legs. Massey also said the man was evasive in his answers to police about what happened.
“The dog was more cooperative than the owner,” Massey said.
The man told police he had brought the dog outside to relieve itself. When he tried to bring the dog back inside, he told police it started to defecate on the floor inside. When he tried to bring the dog back outside, he told police it attacked him.
“It was one of the more severe attacks I’ve ever seen,” Massey said. “I observed the bite marks, and they were horrendous.”
However, Massey did not believe police were told the whole truth by the dog’s owner, including what may have caused the dog to attack. “He was very evasive about that,” Massey said. “I don’t think we got the true story from him.”
Massey said they have not charged the owner with anything yet, so they are not releasing his name. He said Animal Control Officer Chris Martinez will make a determination on whether there are any charges. The dog is currently being held in quarantine for 10 days at the Humane Society Waterville Area.
Massey did not recall receiving prior complaints about the dog. He said the man again became evasive with police on where he got the dog. The man told officers the dog was originally purchased by an ex-girlfriend, but he didn’t know where she was or how to reach her. He said she had all the information on the dog’s licensing and if it had received all its shots and vaccinations.
Massey said the man didn’t want officers going into the house after the dog.
“We just don’t think what he told us was exactly what happened,” he said.
Massey said officers entered the house with a shield and animal restraining poles as a precaution, but found those tools unnecessary. He said Martinez was able to put a leash on the dog and lead it out and got it into a kennel in the back of a truck. He said the dog was not aggressive toward police.
Jeff Mellow, who lives next door, said the incident occurred in the house. He identified the owner of the dog as a man named Dan, whom he described as a “quiet guy.” He said he did not know the dog to be aggressive, and said his children and grandchildren even played with it at times. He said he was surprised, and that he hadn’t really seen the owner hit the dog before. “I don’t know what set the dog off,” he said. “It’s weird.”
Tyler Rollins, who lives in the building next to Mellow, said he didn’t know there was a dog in that building and had come out to see what all the police commotion was about. He said it was the third time since he had moved to the area in January that police gathered on his street. “I just pulled in and saw a bunch of cops,” he said.
In January, there was a standoff on Front Place, which is just off Front Street and close to the area. In that case, Dakota Lewis, 20, reportedly threatened his girlfriend’s mother with a gun in the second-floor apartment. He then holed himself up in an apartment on Front Place with a loaded handgun and his 20-day-old infant. The area was evacuated, and Lewis later surrendered.
Last September, there was also a case where a man reportedly hit another man on the head with a hammer on Union Street, which is also off Front Street. Zachary S. Larrabee, 31, of 19 College Ave., was later arrested in connection with the attack. He had reportedly fled the scene with a hammer and a handgun.
“This place is out of control, man,” Mellow said.