NANTICOKE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — An I-Team exclusive as a police investigation is underway into dog attacks in a Luzerne County Community.
The I-Team has confirmed that seven attacks have taken place and people in that community say they are afraid to leave their homes.
28/22 News spoke to three of the victims and they wanted to know why the dog was allowed to roam the streets even after it attacked several people. Monday we went looking for answers and we must warn you. Some of the images you are about to see may be disturbing to some viewers.
16-year-old Brian Lopez from Nanticoke still bares the scars of the dog attack. The dog, a large mixed-breed mastiff attacked him as he walked home in the Orchard Street neighborhood in Nanticoke on July 25.
Lopez also showed 28/22 News photos of his injuries taken on the day of the attack, however, he does not speak English so his aunt interpreted the questions and translated his answers. The I-Team asked him if he knew what was happening.
“He didn’t know what was going on all he could think of was just the injury he just screamed for help,” said Brian’s Aunt translated for him.
Lopez underwent rabies shots Nanticoke police confirmed the dog lives on the third-floor apartment on Orchard Street and attacked at least six people in Nanticoke.
The I-Team also spoke with a man who says he was attacked two weeks ago.
“As I turned around the dog latched on my arm. Now I had nothing in my hands that would possibly even threaten the dog. I pushed the dog off and screamed and yelled and told the dog to go home,” explained Ron, another dog attack victim.
Ron is also undergoing rabies shots and was told the state dog warden ordered the dog’s owner to quarantine the dog as they evaluate the situation. But Ron says just early Monday morning the dog was on his front porch which is located about 200 yards away from the home of the dog, his doorbell cameras recorded the dog at around 3:00 a.m.
“Very frustrating,” added Ron.
Nanticoke Police Chief Mike Roke told the I-Team that nearly two dozen citations have been filed against the owner of the dog for the attacks. But under current state law, the police cannot just take possession of the dog.
“The public we would like to know we have done everything in our power to quash this situation and we’ve made numerous extra patrols in the area where the dog was getting lost. We’ve been trying to keep an eye on that general areas so nobody else gets hurt,” Chief Roke explained.
State Representative Eddie Day Pashinski has sponsored legislation that would give local police and the state dog warden more discretion and more authority to seize a dog that has attacked people.
“Now they will change the law to give the police that authority to take that dog, put it in a licensed kennel until that dog can be evaluated through the proper process is taken care of and then deal with the results of the operation,” explained Representative Eddie Day Pashinski.
The I-Team went to the Orchard Street apartment building in an effort to talk with the dog’s owner Ken Hicks no one answered the door. 28/22 News also called him and has not heard back from the owner.
Eyewitness News reached out to the state dog warden for comment but has not heard back. Nanticoke Police Chief Mike Roke said that he’s been told by the dog warden that the dog will be euthanized in the coming days.