Felony Charges for Step-Grandfather in Pit Bull Mauling

Monday, Jul 26, 2010  |  Updated 1:30 PM PDT
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Felony Charges for Step-Grandfather in Pit Bull Mauling

Jacob Bisbee, 2, who was mauled to death by his step-grandfather's pit bulls on July 22.

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His step-grandson is dead after three of the family's pit bulls mauled the toddler on Thursday and now, Steven Hayashi is facing federal charges.

Prosecutors filed felony charges against Hayashi, the owner of the three pit bulls that fatally mauled the 2-year-old boy in Concord. Hayashi, 52, has been charged with felony child endangerment and allowing a vicious animal to be at large, also a felony, in connection with the death of 2-year-old Jacob Bisbee, Deputy District Attorney John Cope said.

Hayashi will likely be arraigned Monday afternoon in Contra Costa County Superior Court in Martinez.

The attack happened at the family's home at 1785 Trailcreek Court at about 8:45 a.m. Thursday, Concord police said. Jacob was at home with his grandmother, his uncle and his 4-year-old brother when he walked into the garage and the three dogs attacked him, Concord police Lt. Jim Lardieri said.

Two other pit bulls were in the yard but were not involved in the attack. Authorities took all five dogs into custody and euthanized the animals.

Hayashi said in a jailhouse interview on Friday that the door to  the garage was usually locked with a deadbolt that Jacob couldn't reach. The boy had never gone into the garage before, he said, but on Thursday morning he somehow got in.

"By the time my wife found him, the dogs had already finished their attack. It was too late," Hayashi said.

Jacob was rushed by ambulance to a hospital where he was pronounced dead. An autopsy found that he died from skull fractures and severe bleeding from multiple dog bites, according to the Contra Costa County coroner's office.

Hayashi said his dogs were raised to be house pets and all of them were gentle except for a male named "Kiwi", the largest of the group. He said he didn't trust Kiwi and never let him around the  children. The dog had showed previous signs of aggression, he said.

About a year ago, the dogs attacked and killed a Chihuahua. Although nobody saw the attack, Hayashi blamed Kiwi for the small dog's death.

Hayashi said that when Jacob, his brother and their father moved in with them about a year ago his wife had asked him to get rid of the dogs, but he loved them and didn't have the heart to put them down. Now, he said, he wishes he had gotten rid of them.

"I am not one of those people who breeds dogs for fighting for a pack," Hayashi said. "These are supposed to be house pets."

Contra Costa Animal Services officers seized all five dogs after the attack and have since destroyed them, Hayashi said.

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