Local News

Charges Filed Against Dog's Owner After Jogger Attacked

Posted February 7, 2006 7:03 a.m. EST

— A Granville County man faces charges after authorities say his pit bull attacked a jogger.

Mary Gill, 25, said she was out on an early-morning run when the dog attacked her.

"He ran across the street and kind of ran beside me for a few minutes," Gill said. "And I couldn't tell if he was going to sniff me and run with me a few minutes -- and that's when he bit me the first time, he bit my left leg."

Then, she said, the dog attacked her a second time.

"That's when he pushed me down," Gill said. "He kind of jumped up on me, using his hind legs, and pushed me down."

The dog is now under a 10-day quarantine at the Granville County Animal Shelter, a mandatory confinement in the county for any dog that bites.

The dog's owner, Adam Finch, is charged with felony assault with a deadly weapon.

State law allows felony charges of assault with a deadly weapon filed against the dog owner when the animal is considered vicious.

"It's not just the fact it was a pit bill," said Oxford Animal Protection Officer Gerald Thorne. "That has really nothing to do with the breed, it's because the dog had been declared dangerous in previous history -- the dog has previously attacked somebody before."

Finch was arrested, but is out of jail after posting $20,000 bail. WRAL went to Finch's home for comment, but no one answered the door.

The Centers for Disease Control estimates dogs bite 4.7 million Americans each year. About 1,000 people each day receive emergency treatment for bite wounds.

As for Gill -- who runs marathons and is trying to qualify for the Olympics -- she said she owes her life to the strangers who came to her rescue.

"I don't know what would have happened had those people not stopped," she said. "I don't know who they are, either. I hate that. I wish I could say thanks to them. I was very fortunate those people stopped when they did."