Investigators suspect the suspicious death of Dustin Bryan is a fatal pit bull mauling.
Man Found Dead
Modesto, CA - Police say a 21-year old man discovered dead and covered in blood inside a La Loma neighborhood home may have been mauled by one or both pit bulls living in the home. He was discovered about 7:00 am Tuesday by family members he was staying with at a home in the 100 block of Village Road. His death is being treated as "suspicious" until an autopsy is conducted and the cause of death is determined, said Sgt. Kalani Souza of the Modesto Police Department.
According to Souza, the family and the victim went to bed Monday night and investigators do not believe the victim left and returned at any point. Jacob Anderson, who lives at the home, said the victim (who is a family member) was sleeping on the couch. Anderson said he did not hear any noises of an attack and said the pit bulls "had never been aggressive in the past." As many pit bull owners have said before him, Anderson said a seizure could have caused the gruesome attack.
**Detectives Investigating Suspicious Death**
Preliminary investigation suggests the male may have been attacked by two pit bulls, which belong to the owner of the residence. The two dogs were placed into quarantine by the Modesto Police Department Animal Control Unit. The 21 year old male was visiting the residents of the home, and had stayed the night last night with their permission. The investigation is continuing, and Detectives are treating this investigation as a suspicious death. An autopsy has been scheduled with the Stanislaus County Coroner’s office in the coming days. - Modesto Police
Earlier this year, a 52-year old man was killed in the middle of the night by his pet pit bull of 10 years. Police suspected Homer Utterback suffered a seizure before the attack. This does not excuse the disproportionate response by the dog -- brutally killing its owner. Of the 500 dog bite fatalities we have recorded since 2005, pit bulls have been implicated in every fatal attack while the victim was actually, or purportedly, having a seizure, except for one case involving a rottweiler.
Other persons, most commonly the dog's owner, killed by a pit bull due to an alleged seizure include: Della Riley, 42-years old (Cleveland, OH, 2018); Jamie Owsley, 21-years old (Quincy, IL, 2017); Charles Hagerman, 44-years old (Chicago, IL, 2012); Tonia Parks, 39-years old (Rockford, IL, 2011); Kelli Chapman, 24-years old (Longville, LA, 2008); Brandon Coleman, 25-years old (Morgantown, WV, 2006); Lorinze Reddings, 42-years old (St. Louis, MO, 2005) and likely others.
The man's sister identified the victim as Dustin Bryan on Facebook and to Fox 40 News. Sgt. Kalani Souza also reiterated the horrific scene: "It was horrific enough for our officers to call and treat this as a suspicious death. So investigators did respond to just ensure that what was going on." Stanislaus County Animal Services provided photographs of the pit bulls to the news outlet as well. Police believe "Beze," 13, and "Saxon," 5, attacked Bryan in the upper body, killing him.
Beze, at 13-years old, marks yet another senior pit bull involved in a fatal dog mauling. The culprit that killed Utterback was at least 10-years old.
During the rabies quarantine period, both pit bulls will be monitored for aggression, according to Stanislaus County Animal Services Executive Director Annette Patton. She also said the shelter was in "lockdown" mode. "The animals need to be separate from the public and they need to be quarantined for 10 days," Patton said. "So, we have a lockdown situation here at the shelter, which means it is locked behind closed doors so we don't put anybody at harm or at risk," Patton said.
Though police do not know how much interaction Bryan had with the dogs in the past, he had been a frequent visitor to the home on Village Road. Notably, by nightfall Tuesday, the Fox 40 footage shows that the couches and chairs that had been discarded outside of the home's front door earlier in the day had been removed. Bryan had been sleeping on a couch when he was discovered dead and covered in blood by family members at about 7:00 am Tuesday morning.
The suspicious death of Bryan falls into a frequent pattern of pit bulls -- a disproportionate response due the selection for abnormal aggression (high arousal and aggressivitiy in a safe environment). As animal behaviorist Alexandra Semyonova stated in 2006, "The environments (the fighting pit, the baited bull) for which these behaviors were selected as an adaptive response are so extreme that in fact there is no appropriate context for these behaviors in normal life."
There are many fatal pit bull maulings that fall into this category, including the majority of fatal attacks by pit bulls. The pit bull breed appears disproportionately in fatal dog attacks due to this very trait. In addition to the disproportionate response by pit bulls in these cases, the lack of any identifiable trigger is why the pit bull breed is uniquely dangerous. Whether the victim suffered a nocturnal seizure is less relevant given that no identifiable trigger can proceed a violent attack.
11/04/14: 2014 Dog Bite Fatality: Neighbor's Pack of Pit Bulls Kill Modesto Man, Critically...
05/09/09: Alexandra Semyonova: Heritability of Behavior in the Abnormally Aggressive Dog
Law enforcement departments across the United States should release consistent "baseline" information to the media and the public after each fatal dog mauling, including these items.
I will guess that the pit bulls were also covered in blood.
My pit bull had a seizure, the vet tech was spooked, so she bludgeoned and stabbed my dog to death.
It was an accident.
That’s what bully dog users* want us to accept.
In one of Richard Stratton’s pit bull books, he states that “a good pit bull can read his opponent’s weaknesses and use that knowledge to his advantage.”
*they are not “advocates”
Perfectly correct about the owners/breeders not being ‘advocates’ for the animals. I’m so glad to see others mentioning that.
Gotta be kidding me? Seizures?! What a load of BS… all the more reason not to have these breeds as ‘therapy dogs’ of any sort then… this young man probably just got up to go to the toilet or something innocent…
No I’m family , Dustin had awful seizures. And the day before had spent at the hospital as he was having one after another. His mother wanted him to go home her but he was 21 and decided to go to his cousin. We’re all suffering a great loss as Dustin was a very special boy. He will always be missed!
Maybe it’s just that I don’t have a land shark, but my animals do nothing when my daughter has a seizure. Of course, they’re old and lazy and not completely out of control, hyper and haywire like every pitbull I’ve ever seen.
That being said, it seems like such a convenient excuse, does it not? Everyone that gets killed by a pitbull suddenly has epilepsy. About 20 years ago, in college, a friend of mine had epilepsy. She drove her mom’s car without permission and subsequently died in a car accident. The coroner had no way of determining whether she suffered a seizure before wrecking the car, or she simply lost control and wrecked.
In cases like this, I believe this is another form of VICTIM BLAMING. It’s easy to write it off as a seizure. “The dog panicked. It was scared. It thought he was an intruder!” All the while, there is no way to prove whether or not he suffered a seizure before the attack, going back to my “convenient excuse” theory.
If he DID have a seizure, there’s still no excuse for the disproportionate reaction of the dogs. If I had a pitbull, I’d be afraid to sneeze anywhere near it.
Reminds me of the one case where a pitbull attacked and killed a four month old. A noted pitbull advocate (can’t remember her name) said something stupid like “maybe the child coughed.” Maybe the child coughed??? That set the pitbull into action???
Wow, just wow.
Ledy VanKavage uses the “Maybe the child cried” excuse during an interview. Somehow other types of dogs don’t go in to murderous rages when they hear a crying child.
Jamie Owsley was also sleeping in the living room when he was mauled to death.
Add to the list of triggers: sleeping on the couch.
That picture…one has to wonder if that was taken after the attack and if one of those couches was the one the victim was on when he died. Was this their solution to getting the evidence of the death out of the house, just throwing them haphazardly on the porch?
I was thinking the same thing.
Although I believe killing a person over a seizure is ridiculous, it’s not surprising to me that pit bulls would kill someone having a seizure. First of all, remember that a person in a seizure is unconscious and cannot possibly defend himself/herself from any dog attack. Secondly, having watched some of the pit bulls on videos, some seem to be overstimulated by the movement of dogs/people and lose control.
For example, they don’t attack the fake dogs until the fake dogs are moved by leashes, feet, etc.
The person in a seizure makes weird movements and weird noises. This stimulates the pit bulls to flip their switch and attack. The seizuring person cannot react to the dogs. Remember that a person will have a seizure (ictus), and a post seizure period of time (post ictus) before he/she is normal again and can react as a normal individual.
Very likely, the lethal bites are inflicted long before the seizuring person can react. In dogs, it is not unusual to see a post ictal period of twenty minutes. During this period, the dog might stumble around, trip over things, and act drunk.
People selecting for the trait of gameness want their pit bulls to instantly attack and not show any normal greeting period with dogs or people. So the pit bulls instantly attack seizuring people because of their breeding.
I agree. But there are many different types of seizures. Not everyone has a tonic clonic, the type you see in the movies. In fact, those are extremely rare. The type that my daughter has, is called an absence seizure. Hers do not have motor involvement. In fact, she may be laughing and running when she suddenly pauses for a few seconds, her eyes fixed straight ahead, no sounds escaping, before she resumes laughing and running, or whatever activity she was involved with, all within a few seconds. I’m not even sure that my dog has ever noticed.
Curious how no one else in the house heard anything from the victim or culprit (s). Something does not add up. My heart goes out to this young victim.
Attacking dogs don’t bark or make noise. These dogs were too busy attacking to make noise. If bitten in the neck as is common with pit bulls, the victim couldn’t yell for help.
The lack of sounds points to two facts: (1) pit bulls have been bred to attack without warning and (2) a pit bull attack is so damaging that even the first grip and rip can be lethal without the victim having a chance to even cry out.
I think both of these point all the more to the reasons that pit bulls are not suitable dogs for pets (or therefore any use, since blood sports are cruel).
Even if the alleged seizure theory were true, a “normal” dog startled into attacking by something like this would (1) be more likely to growl and bark at the strange occurrence before becoming so freaked out that it launches an attack and (2) that first attack would not likely be so damaging that the victim can’t cry out for help.
If pit “users” (to use Debbie Bell’s excellent phrasing) really believed that lethal attacks are triggered by seizures as they’ve claimed so often, then why push pit bulls as therapy dogs? Why allow them in public places where there may be those who had ra seizure disorder? And why on earth claim they are suitable as “nanny” dogs if a medical emergency can fill them with such fear and confusion that they might launch a lethal attack?
Lots of people have seizures. But do you ever hear of the Australian shepherd which kills someone due to a seizure? The standard poodle? The pointer? The St. Bernard? Of course not.
To say that pits only do it because they get “confused and scared” is to be admitting that they’re stupid, but they have to claim stupidity and cowardice because to say that they launched a lethal attack because they sensed a weakness doesn’t fit the lovable pibble narrative. But if they really believe that it is fear and confusion, then how can they claim them to be “the smartest dogs” and “such brave and loyal protectors”?
It’s always a game of shifting verbage and victim blaming with pit users, while they hope no one notices their inconsistencies. Or maybe they’re really so blind that they don’t see the truth themselves.
I feel sorry for this young man. He thought he was sleeping in a safe place and I’m sure he was told the dogs wouldn’t hurt a thing.
I am guessing Jacob Anderson is being less than truthful.
The county Animal Services director said, “It’s a unique situation and a sad situation.”
Sad, yes. Certainly sad. Unique? No, not very unique at all. Why is everyone, including these animal “experts” always so surprised by this? As if pit bulls attacking and killing for no reason at all is an unheard of thing? Are they that distant from reality?
The two dogs pictured in the news video were 13 years old and 5 years old. They were probably “really nice dogs” until the day they weren’t. Now they’re observing them in quarantine for aggressive tendencies. I’m almost certain they won’t see anything at all that seems aggressive, because the dogs are pit bulls and they turn on and off. Pit bulls often pass those ridiculous temperament assessments after killing. That’s part of what makes them so terribly deadly. If these two dogs had been overtly aggressive, I highly doubt that the deceased young man would have willingly spent the night there. But he was lulled into thinking they are normal, nice dogs.
When will people realize that there is nothing remotely normal about a breed of dog created solely for unprovoked deadly aggression? When will people finally understand that these dogs are just fulfilling their genetic purpose? No training needed. No provocation needed. No “seizure” needed. All that’s needed is a pit bull, doing what they were created to do.
It’s a unique situation … that “somehow” (there’s that word again!) manages to keep happening over and over and over and over again.
I am going to guess these dogs are mother and son.
The just saw the YouTube news snippet for this …
It’s unreal that AFTER SOMEONE LOST THEIR LIFE…..AGAIN……..instead of having someone say to be cautionary around a certain breed ( after several FATALITIES already caused by this BREED ) ———> PITBULLS
they OPENLY PROMOTE IT !!??!!??
ARE YOU KIDDING ME ……..!?
Somebody was just MAULED TO DEATH BY A SHITBULL and they go about PROMOTING THIS VILE BREED !??
Here is the ” news flash ” ……
Watch till the end …..it’s disturbing to listen to how they promote this breed after another FATAL MAUING …..
ITS UNREAL ….
Humane Society lady was a trifecta of pibble propaganda!
Count the falsehoods she manages to cover in just 24 seconds:
1. Nanny dogs
2. He’s been trained (to be friendly with her kids, so will never be aggressive)
3. It’s all in how you raise them
She’s the proud owner of a land shark. Gosh, you didn’t see that one coming, did you?
One of the dogs was “a little aggressive” officer? Really? Maybe like snarling at someone, asleep on the couch and when they didn’t follow the orders of Commandant Pitbull–it murdered them?
“Protective” and “Nanny” are oxymorons in the same sentence.
“He follows commands”? Lady, that’s your definition of a safe dog? Because he can “sit” when you drool all over it with lurve while it barely keeps it’s butt on the floor with you right next to it? What commands? Down on recall? Come when called? Drop it? Leave it? Stay on a down for 10 minutes with you, out of the room?
Are you kidding me?
This woman is deluded. That dog is barely sitting, certainly not calmly or for more than five seconds. Hardly proving her point there, is she?
That kind of delusion about what a trained dog will do is why people just don’t “get it” about crappy pitbull behaviour.
Next on the news. This lady’s trained dog eats the poodle next door, then the children.
I guess the victim was too old to be nanny dogged. Maybe if he had been just a young kid, the nanny dogs would not have killed him. All of this is sheer stupidity. I guess no one will notice the pit bull problem until lots more people are mauled and/or killed by them. Very, very sad.
Looking at the victim’s Facebook page, one can see that he was a fan of pit bulls…. sharing pictures from bully breed pages. If he read those pages regularly, that means he was being fed a continual diet of pit bull propaganda. He also posted a picture of his own pet pit bull which had died some time ago and which he claimed had been the best dog he’d ever owned.
It’s clear he believed the lies. I just pray the rest of his family and friends wake up to reality and that some good can come from his death.
I came to check for updates here after seeing a meme posted on a distant relative’s Facebook page, featuring a pit bull with this caption: “the only dangerous breed…. is humans.” Has any other creature ever in all of existence needed so much blatant propaganda to cover up the truth? Why are people so sickeningly desperate to cover up for this breed?
My god, how many canine and pb fatalities does that make this year? Looks like it’ll be a record high number. And yet, no outrage from the media, if it were sharks, snakes or alligators doing the mauling, it would be all over the news. Since its ” how you raise them” then none should be put up for adoption from shelters, since no one knows how they were raised. If every pit in the shelters got the “pink juice” instead of set free, it would cut down on the pit problem.
I think what needs to happen here is that we start tracking the *names of the victims* and every time there’s a BSL open for question on a government floor or protest–bring a huge foam gravestone with the names engraved, or some other tangible, visible proof these people were *murdered* by these dogs.
These were *people* slaughtered by dogs. Most of whom were disabled, elderly, or children. It’s sheer madness.
We need to make these people *real* to the public.
Many years ago, I did a TV story about seizure dogs being trained at a Washington State prison. These were sweet, mostly labs and golden retrievers, that would sense a seizure and guide their owner to a bench or chair. Pit bulls are one of very few breeds that will attack children, old people and the disabled without any sign of provocation. Let’s add people who suffer from seizures to the list! On the addle-minded list, let’s add the idiotic “very” unique (bad grammar) soundbite. (Unique means ONE of a kind.) No sir, these “unique” attacks happen at least once a week.
Another disabled body to add to the pile of pitbull murder victims. My extreme sympathies to the loved ones of Homer Utterback. Nobody deserves that.
You know what fries my bacon?
“If, If, if” maybe IF the victim, maybe IF the victim, maybe IF the victim had…
So…a pitbull murders a person *for their disability*–that’s the song they wanna sing? Seriously?
Do these people realize how utterly fascist they sound?
How many vulnerable seniors, disabled and children have to be slaughtered before these pitbull lovers GET IT?
Right now, these same barking mad lunatics want to overturn Ontario’s BSL has been proven to work. This explains why I’ve been seeing more of these young pitbulls on the street. According to BSL they should be 15 years old, or dead, already.
Nobody should need a degree in dog psychology to walk into a house. No kid should have to worry about being prey to a large animal. Older people should be able to walk with their canes and wheelchairs without fear of being murdered on their daily walk or while visiting relatives.
There’s no arguing with these pitbull nutters. Because clearly, their agenda on the planet is to wipe out everyone with their murder dogs that isn’t THEM.
* Sorry wrong name. Although I still send my condolences to Homer’s family.
Much condolences to Dustin Bryan’s friends and family. Epilepsy or sleeping–nobody should be murdered by some dogs.
Also, I love this judge and he says it all. The pitbull lover in this clip is from the same clueless bunch that keep defending these dogs.
There’s a reason judges hate pitbulls. They get far too many cases of them, in their courtrooms.
I’d like to add my firsthand knowledge to this discussion. I owned a female out from this dog Beze. She was rescued from someone drowning her in a burlap sack. She was very sweet and dangerous. I had a litter of puppies from her and kept two, a male and female. The male and his mom killed a pony and we got rid of the mom. (Destroyed I believe) I kept the male and female for three years. The female bit my daughter my ex wife and me (3 separate occasions) causing severe damage each time trying to kill another dog, then she and her brother tried to kill my neighbors lab by almost pulling it apart (75 stitches). I had the dogs put down last December for the welfare of my family and neighbors. It was heartbreaking and I had a lot of vet bills to pay off. I will never own another pit bull in my life. These dogs are directly related to the dogs that killed this young boy. This is tragic and heartbreaking and with any humanity people would end this breeding and breed. My male dog was HUGE he easily weighed 125. His jaws and mouth were enormous. He never bit anyone but as animal aggressive as they were there was no way I could chance it.
It’s painful to have to euthanize a dog that you’ve come to love.
But it’s the responsible thing to do in some cases–otherwise, the results can be even more painful. I had a long convo once with a woman who had done everything she could for her pitbull for *ten years* which included her getting bitten several times, stopping it from attacking dogs on the street. Her heart was broken and the pitbull crowd condemned her. My heart went out to her because that’s a really difficult decision.
I just hope you, and that lady, go find some lovely dog you can have a real relationship with, rather than spending your energy and life on a dog relationship with a pitbull that can never be worry, free.
Thanks for your honesty, Victor.
Thank you for your comment, Victor. There is a lot of valuable information in what you wrote. These dogs are not suited to be pets or service dogs. Ultimately, you did the right and responsible thing by putting the dogs down — the aggression would have escalated to a person being mauled or killed. As heartbreaking as it was, you did what was best for those dogs, too.
And THANK YOU for putting the safety of your family and your neighbors above your desire to keep the dogs. Too many pit owners don’t do that, which is why we are where we are. Your story is one that should be read and heeded by many.
Does anyone know what happened to the dogs? I hope they were not allowed to live.