Man, dog recovering from Atlantic Beach pit bull attack

ATLANTIC BEACH, Fla. -- A man and his dog are still recovering after a vicious attack in Atlantic Beach Friday. Now we're learning that the aggressive dog's owners have been cited for having dangerous dogs before.

The victim's father says it started when his daughter-in-law was walking back to the home across Jack Russell Park with her 70-pound coonhound. She saw two pit bulls running towards her dog. She tried to get back into the house but before she could make it, one of the dogs latched onto her dog's neck.

"I didn't know where the sound was coming from. We heard screams," said Gene Kemp, the victim's father.

Kemp and other witnesses say it was a chaotic scene.

"There was blood from the animal being injured," said Mary Theis, Kemp's neighbor.

Kemp says his son wrestled the pit bull off his dog 'Tanner', but the 70 to 80 pound dog would not give up the fight.

"He managed to get his out from under Jared's arm and he clamped down on Jared's arm and bit into him," said Kemp.

The police report says Jared Kemp had to stab the dog with a kitchen knife to stop it from attacking. Neighbor Theis saw part of the struggle from her second floor window.

"That's when I heard the dog and it was terrible. I felt so bad for Jared he tried everything, he tried to talk the dog calm it down," said Theis.

The pit bull, named Roscoe on the police report, died from its injuries.

Police say the pit bull owners have a history with dangerous dogs. Last year those owners Suzanne Leviseur and her daughter Cecilia Babillis had three dogs deemed dangerous according to Atlantic Beach Police. Police say they did not comply with the city requirement to have proper insurance and chose to instead to euthanize their dogs. According to Court records, they've also been cited for dogs running off a leash.

"No matter how much you trust a dog, they are animals," said Melissa Robbins, who lives next door to Leviseur.

Robbins says her husband was also bitten by one of the dogs a few months ago.

"It was when our dogs got out and he grabbed one of them and then the other one was left with the dog and he tried to grab him and the dog bit him," added Robbins.

We tried to reach out to Leviseur and Babillis at their Atlantic Beach home address listed on the police report, but no one was home. First Coast News did hear from Babillis, but we are waiting for her to call back with comment.


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