Families feud over dog bite - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Families feud over dog bite


A four year old Michiana girl is recovering from injuries at Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis.  Thursday afternoon, police say Damonica Paul was playing at a friend's house when a pit bull attacked her and bit off her nose.  Police impounded the dog they believe bit Paul.  But the dog's owners say the neighbor's dog actually attacked the young girl.

On Thursday, 10 year old Jacob Smith says he and other friends were playing on a trampoline when the neighbor's dog jumped this fence and attacked the yard dog.

"The little girl was trying to pet the dog and the dog turned around and bit her," said Jacob Smith witnessed the pit bull attack.

Smith says the neighbor's pit bull attacked his four year old friend Damonica Paul and bit off her nose.

"She was crying and then she was looking down there's a whole bunch of blood on the cement," said Smith.

Tracy Crisler is the homeowner where the dog bite happened.  She says her dog, Sierra, isn't to blame.

"I can't see my dog biting this little girl considering.  She's around her everyday.  They've have my dog in their home," Tracy Crisler owns impounded dog.

But Elkhart Police disagree.  Crisler's dog is in the impound.  She's been ticketed for not registering her dog and keeping up with vet checks.   But she insists that the neighbor's dog, and not her's, attacked Paul.

"My dog's never bitten anybody doesn't have a record of biting," said Crisler.

This is the neighbor's dog.  The Ocampos say their pit bull, Coffee, isn't aggressive.

"They bark because they don't know the people but when you get to know them they're alright," said Sonia Ocampo who says her dog is innoncent.

While Sonia Ocampo admits her dog's bitten other animals before, she says he doesn't bite people.  And Ocampo says Coffee couldn't have been in the neighbor's yard because of this fence.

"It's high the fence.  If he would have been outside out here I know he could jump the fence.  That's why we tie him up and put the big fence," said Ocampo.

Simply put, she says her dog is innocent.

"I think it was their dog and they're just trying to blame it on us," said Ocampo.

Crisler has an upcoming court date to see if she can get Sierra back, or if the dog will be humanely euthanized.  We went to the Elkhart County Humane Society to show Crisler's dog's temperament, but we were not allowed inside.

Reporter: Nadia Crow

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