Does Not Understand What "Potentially Dangerous" Means
Parsippany, NJ - The owner of a pit bull that bit five people last week told a municipal court judge today that his dog was "provoked" and pleaded innocent to summonses stemming from the April 2 incident. The Parsippany pit bull owner, unrepresented by an attorney, told the judge:
"I understand that the dog was provoked -- that’s the reason the dog did what it did,” said Ricardo Cotto at the hearing.
Cotto pleaded innocent to summonses for not having a dog license and allowing his pit bull to run at large. He told the judge that he would contest the town’s bid to declare his dog "potentially dangerous." Prosecutor Douglas Cabana said that the city intends to move forward on the charges. Five people were bit, "I believe it is appropriate."
One of the victims was in court, but did not speak at the hearing. Five people, including a Parsippany police officer, were bitten when the dog shot across the street and went on the attack outside the town branch library. The dog was captured at the scene and is being held at the Parsippany Animal Shelter.
Cotto is afraid the city wants to put his dog down. So Judge Frese had to explain to him the difference between "putting a dog down" and declaring a dog "potentially dangerous." He told Cotto he might be required to add a fence, install a "dangerous dog" sign and a few other steps in order to regain custody of his dog.
04/05/08: Berserking Pit Bull in Jersey Attacks 5 People