Walter Roach of Miramar, Florida was reportedly sent to the hospital after a pit bull attack, sources indicate. The attack came just a day after Miami-Dade commissioners decided to include a vote on whether to lift their ban on pit bull ownership. Reds, the dog in question, was taken from Steve White, his 22-year-old owner, following the alleged attack. Walter Roach, 77, required treatment at Memorial Hospital Pembroke following the incident, where he was reportedly kept overnight on Wednesday. It is not clear whether Mr. Roach is seeking the services of a personal injury lawyer.
According to news reports, the alleged dog bite attack occurred at approximately 10:20 a.m. on Wednesday in the 8600 block of Shearton Drive in Miramar. Roach reportedly told investigators that he was walking in the area, which is near his residence, when he was approached by three unsupervised pit bulls. The pit bulls were reportedly not on leashes and not accompanied by an owner. One of the pit bulls, 4-year-old Reds, attacked Roach, biting his back, right leg, and left arm. Reports do not mention how Roach was able to escape the attack.
After the altercation, Roach was transported to Memorial Hospital Pembroke, where he was treated with 24 stitches for his non-life threatening injuries. He was quoted calling the dog that attacked him “vicious” and “dangerous.” It is not clear whether he has already been released from Memorial Hospital.
Reds’ owner, Steve White, reportedly told the press that the three dogs, all of whom are normally enclosed behind a fence that surrounds White’s home, must have been aggravated and released by a third party. “Pit bulls are like cage fighters. They’re not 100 percent vicious. At the same time, it’s in their bloodline to protect and attack for anything that they love. If you raise them properly, they can be the sweetest dogs ever,” White reportedly told the press. There is no indication of how the dogs may have gotten out of their enclosure; press report did not mention any holes in the fence or an open gate.
Reds was taken away after White and his family failed to produce documentation that Reds had received a vaccination for rabies, but will be able to return after 10 days. White was also issued two citations, one for having a derelict fence and once for having a loose dog that resulted in an animal bite with injury. It is not clear whether other charges are forthcoming.
Pit bull ownership in Miami-Dade County has been a political issue for decades. A Florida law passed in 1990 banned local governments from banning certain dog breeds, but allowed governments to keep any laws that had already been made. The State of Florida reportedly made the ban to prevent dog discrimination. Miami-Dade County had banned pit bulls in 1989 after a stream of pit bull attacks, and it was allowed to keep its’ ban, which is active to this day. Since no such ban exists in Miramar, White is legally allowed to keep his dogs as long as he abides by other rules governing dog ownership.