Pit bulls will be caged until owner's court date

LAWRENCEVILLE - Three pit bulls that attacked and injured three men in Duluth on Wednesday will remain at the Gwinnett County Animal Control Shelter until a judge decides their fate.

The animals - a 7-month-old female, 5-year-old male and 7-year-old male - were still penned separately Friday under a 10-day bite-quarantine to ensure they do not have rabies. Cpl. Charles Johnson of Gwinnett County Animal Control said he won't allow the dogs to go back to their owner, 33-year-old Brian A. Jones, until a Gwinnett County Recorder's Court hearing on July 20.

Jones faces six citations for three counts of animal attacking without provocation and three counts of having an unrestrained animal.

Johnson believes at least one of the dogs is still a threat.

"The others were taking a cue off this one," Johnson said, pointing to a muscle-bound 5-year-old male pit bull that was barking incessantly at everyone passing by its pen. "This one is just crazy - a real danger to the public."

The other two pit bulls do not appear as dangerous, but because dogs are pack animals they will follow the lead of the dominant animal when it attacks, Johnson said.

Laura Chi, 29, whose father, Joon Soo Chi, was one of the men mauled on Wednesday, said she doesn't blame the dogs. She blames the owner.

"Pit bulls can be ferocious," Chi said. "The owner should've been in control at all times knowing they are a special kind of dogs."

Chi said her father was on his daily walk at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday in Breckenridge Station neighborhood off North Executive Drive when one of the pit bulls attacked him without provocation. Joon Soo Chi was bitten on the knee, and he suffered scratches across his lower back and legs. He was still wearing a cast and bandages on his leg Friday, according to Chi.

The three pit bulls somehow got out of Jones' backyard that morning through an open gate. They bit three men in different areas of the neighborhood before Animal Control officers were able to impound them, said Cpl. Darren Moloney, spokesman for the Gwinnett County Police Department.

Joon Soo Chi and the other two victims, 48-year-old Chu Insoo, and 42-year-old Manuel Larz-Mujira, all of Duluth, did not know one another and were not together when the dog attacks occurred. All three men were treated at Gwinnett Medical Center for non-life-threatening injuries.