On Sunday, three pit bulls attacked an 11-year old boy riding a bike in a Washington, D.C. neighborhood, biting him on the arms, legs, stomach, and chest. A neighbor ran into his house, retrieved his gun, and ran to the boy’s aid, shooting and killing one of the attacking dogs.
A nearby policeman came quickly to the scene when he heard the sound of gunfire and shot and killed the other two dogs.
The boy, Jayeon Simon, was rushed to the hospital, where he underwent surgery and was released on Wednesday. He is expected to recover, but the harrowing experience left him fearful of attacks from dogs in the future. “I be riding my bike. I be with my friend Daniel. Then they start attacking me,” he told a local television station. “This guy comes out. Brings out a hand gun. For the dogs. Then he shot one of the dogs.”
The neighbor who saved the boy’s life, however, may face gun charges. The Washington Metropolitan Police Department is currently investigating whether the man’s gun was legally registered. If it was not, he may be charged with a crime.
Neighbor Tony Lawson approved of the shooter’s actions. “They talking about charging him? Come on now… I know if that man hadn’t did what he did, that little boy might be dead… or wish he was dead.”
Grandmother Louise Simon shared Lawson’s sentiments. “I’m glad he did what he did do. Because them dogs, they tell me them dogs when they sink their teeth into you they lock their jaws.”
Washington, D.C. based criminal defense attorney Daniel Gross told the Washington Times the man who saved the boy’s life may be in legal jeopardy:
“I’ve seen cases where people used weapons in defense of others, but the U.S. attorney’s office is not always so understanding. There are certain defenses one could try, like self-defense or defense of others, but that wouldn’t really go to whether they charge you.”
The owner of the three pit bulls was fined $175 for failure to leash his dogs.