On the afternoon of November 3 Steven Herrera was mauled by 3 pit bulls in east Bakersfield. Andy Casteneda, a witness to the attack, stated that he could hear Herrera screaming from four houses down. Casteneda went to help Herrera with only a wooden cane as a weapon. He stated that the biggest of the three dogs was “chewing the man’s arm off.” He also said that the two female dogs were on Herrera’s legs.
Other neighbors heard Herrera’s cries but were hesitant to help. It was the 69-year-old Casteneda who came to the rescue, using his cane to beat the off of Herrera long enough for him to run to safety. Another witness, Damon Hill, said he though Herrera would have probably been killed had no one gone to help him.
According to City Animal Control Field Supervisor, Tammy Davis, the dogs belonged to the victim’s brother. The brother’s had met up earlier in the day and the dogs were not friendly towards Herrera. Herrera does not visit often and the dogs were unfamiliar with him. Herrera arrived at the home before his brother arrived home and proceeded inside the gate, despite the “Beware of Dog” sign.
Herrera was taken to Kern Medical Center to treat his wounds. He was listed in fair condition. The dogs have been placed on quarantine for 10 days. The owner initially stated that he would not try to get the dogs back, but later stated he might return for the two pregnant famales. The dogs were not neutered, were unlicensed, and there was no record of them having received the proper rabies vaccinations. Since the dogs were on their property they will be returned to the owner, unless Herrera’s wounds are deemed severe enough to warrant a vicious dog hearing. Davis has stated that “having access to dogs of such ferocity just by lifting a gate latch is a safety issue in the neighborhood.”
At Nelson, Rozier we have experience representing dog bite victims. If you or a loved one has been a victim of a dog attack please contact us at / for a free consultation.