The Chicago Personal Injury Law Blog

Pit Bull Attack on Jogger, Owner Escapes Criminal Charges

A pit bull attack in the South Shore neighborhood of Chicago sent a jogger to the hospital. Fortunately, the heroics of one man may have saved the jogger's life.

On Monday morning at about 6:00 a.m., Stanley Lee awoke to screams of "Help me! Help me!" The 35-year-old man rushed outside with a baseball bat in hand and saw two large pit bulls mauling jogger, Joseph Finley, reports the Chicago Sun-Times.

The seventy pound pit bulls were attacking Finley “like he was a piece of steak” and Lee beat the animals until police officers could arrive at the scene, reports the Sun-Times. Once police arrived, the animals turned on them and the police fatally shot both dogs multiple times.

The 70-pound unneutered dogs were tagless but were soon tracked back to their owner, Jimmy Johnson. According to police, Johnson lived nearby and the dogs escaped from an open gate in his backyard. The dogs did not have any previous complaints and Johnson was not criminally charged for the attack, reports the Sun-Times.

But escaping criminal liability does not mean Jimmy Johnson will avoid civil liability. Illinois is a strict liability state when it comes to dog bites. This means that Joseph Finley can sue Johnson for damages regardless of whether the pit bull attacks happened before and even if Johnson was not otherwise at fault.

A South Shore pit bull attack put a jogger in the hospital. The victim may sue the dog’s owner for damages, but will no doubt thank Stanley Lee first for saving his life.

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