by: Tom Regan Updated:
GAINESVILLE, Ga. - A man who tried to stop the owner of a dog that bit a young child inside a Gainesville PetSmart store tells Channel 2 Action News he was threatened at gunpoint when he confronted the dog's owner and his companion outside the store.
"They were entering their vehicle, (and the) passenger pointed a gun through the windshield at me and told me to get out of the way. The driver actually tried to run me down in the parking lot to get away," James Weber told Channel 2's Tom Regan.
Weber said he was with his dog inside the store on Dawsonville Highway on Saturday when he saw a large pit bull lunge at a 6-year-old who was with his mother and siblings.
"The dog just jumped up and bit the kid on the face. You could actually see the cut was all the way to the bridge of his nose. He was pretty bad. He was losing color, (there) was a point where he was into shock," Weber said.
Weber said the two men with the dog raced from the store and climbed into a red truck. Weber said he walked in front of the truck to block their path.
"The driver started the vehicle up and tried to run me down. There were skid marks, and people were running this way and that. It was freaking people. Everybody was scared," Weber said.
Authorities found the dog suspected in the attack and placed the animal in quarantine at the Hall County animal shelter.
Police said the men could face charges for failing to restrain the dog and their actions outside the store.
"We do currently have investigators on this case, they are following on a number of leads, and it's possible they will make an arrest if this case is found worthy," said Gainesville police Cpl. Kevin Holbrook.
Authorities have not released the names of the child and parent. The attack left the child with nine stitches. He was treated at a hospital in Gainesville.
"The real bad thing about it was, the owner of the dog had no compassion of what his dog did to that kid," Weber said.
PetSmart sent Regan a statement about the incident saying, "We continue to work with the Lane family, the police and Animal Care and Control to support the investigation of this situation. We are hopeful that the news coverage will help find the right dog so that complete and up-to-date vaccination records for the dog are located. We are thankful that the child involved is home and recovering well and was quickly supported by our pet parent customers and store associates at the time of the incident."