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Pit bull attacks man
Fredericksburg man bitten by pit bull in Mayfield

Date published: 5/28/2005

By PORTSIA SMITH

By PORTSIA SMITH

A Fredericksburg man was bitten by a pit bull Wednesday night in Mayfield, in the latest in a string of dog attacks in the region.

Austin Johnson, 73, of Fredericksburg was walking along Railroad Avenue when a pit bull ran out of a yard and bit him on the right leg, city police spokesman Jim Shelhorse said.

Johnson said he had to climb onto a car to escape the dog.

A woman inside the home tried to restrain the dog and said the dog's owner--her son--was out of town.

She and a neighbor drove the man, who has diabetes, to Mary Washington Hospital for treatment, Shelhorse said. Johnson said last night he was OK. His wound did not need stitches.

The owner, who is in South Carolina, told authorities by telephone that the pit bull was up to date on its rabies shots and that he had a city dog license, Shelhorse said.

The dog has been placed on a 10-day quarantine by the health department.

Shelhorse said no charges have been placed.

Earlier this year, two people in the area were attacked and killed by dogs.

In Spotsylvania County, 82-year-old Dorothy Sullivan and her small dog, Buttons, were killed by a pack of roaming pit bulls on March 8.

Deanna H. Large, 36, of Partlow, was charged with involuntary manslaughter and three counts of allowing dangerous dogs to run at large in connection with the fatal mauling. Large yesterday pleaded not guilty.

In Orange County, 4-year-old Robert Shafer died April 10 after he wandered too close to the family's 65-pound Rottweiler mix. It was chained up in their home's backyard in Placid Pines mobile-home park north of Gordonsville.

Authorities ruled the attack an accident.

To reach PORTSIA SMITH: 540/374-5419 psmith@freelancestar.com