- The Washington Times - Sunday, May 19, 2013

A D.C. man whose three pit bulls escaped his Brightwood home and mauled a neighborhood child until a good Samaritan fired at the dogs was sentenced to eight days in jail and three years’ probation.

Judge Richard H. Ringell on Monday ordered the animals’ owner, Alan Paige, not to possess any dogs during his three-year unsupervised probation after hearing complaints about animals in his care.

“People know the nature of the dogs they have,” Judge Ringell said. “If it was isolated, it would be a little bit easier to understand.”

In January, 12-year-old Jayeon Simon was mauled by the three pit bulls as he rode his bike through his Northwest D.C. neighborhood. Neighbor Benjamin Srigley saw the attack and, alongside a D.C. police officer, used his Ruger 9 mm pistol to kill one of the dogs in an effort to save the boy. The officer killed the other two dogs.

Jayeon, who suffered several bites, was hit in the ankle by the gunfire and had to undergo multiple surgeries as a result, prosecutor Brittany Keil of the office of the attorney general said.

Mr. Srigley subsequently faced charges for possessing an unregistered firearm, but prosecutors agreed not to go forward with the case as long as he paid a $1,000 fine and stayed out of trouble. The charges were dropped in July.

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At the Monday sentencing in D.C. Superior Court, Ms. Keil said neighbors had previously complained that Mr. Paige’s dogs ran freely through the neighborhood. An animal control officer met with Mr. Paige to check on the care and welfare of the dogs after one of them was mauled so badly by another that it had to be euthanized, Ms. Keil said.

“Mr. Paige was on notice about the dangerous nature of his dogs,” she said.

In court, Mr. Paige said he installed a fence to keep the dogs on his property and he contested accusations that his dogs had been a threat, referring to them as “friendly.”

“They got out. He doesn’t know how they got out,” said his attorney, Jennifer Conner.

Mr. Paige said the dog that mauled his other dog was handed over to animal control and was not one the three dogs that got loose and attacked the boy.

He also said he hadn’t meant to have so many dogs. He said after one got pregnant he found homes for three of the puppies but was left with three others.

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“This was a very unfortunate situation,” he said of the attack.

Judge Ringell said Mr. Paige could serve his eight-day sentence on his days off his job working security at an area bar and also ordered him to pay a $250 fine.

Neither Jayeon and his family nor Mr. Srigley were in court for the sentencing Monday.

“There is one young boy who is going to live with the horror of what happened to him for a long, long, time,” Judge Ringell said.

• Andrea Noble can be reached at anoble@washingtontimes.com.

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