Police and animal services officers in Miami are cracking down on the leash laws after an unleashed dog attacked a boy and his father at a popular park.
Edward, who did not want to provide his last name, said they were attacked by an out-of-control dog Monday night at Margaret Pace Park. They were at the park after his son's soccer game and his 2-year-old, Santino, was playing with his friends.
"He just happened to turn there to look for his friends," Edward recalled. Then, the dog "literally just launched to him."
Edwards said the dog was with its owner and a trainer, but no one was controlling the leash.
"As any parent would, I ran towards my son and pushed the dog away, and the dog was coming back to finish to attack," Edward said. "That's when he bit me in the hand and I just shook him off, and the dog was literally holding onto my skin."
Both went to the hospital and needed stitches. Pictures show the bite marks on Santino's face.
Edward was thankful he was there to save his son.
"I don't want parents to be worried about their kids," he said. "This time, it was me and I was lucky to be there, present."
According to the Biscayne Neighborhood Association’s President, Andres Althabe, off-leash dogs have been an on-going issue at this park. However, he says this was by far the worst incident.
“It is unfortunate because it’s something that we have been saying this has to change,” Althabe said.
Miami Dade Animal Services is now investigating the case. Wednesday, the agency along with Miami Police officers and the park manager were teaming up to crackdown on leash law violators.
“We're going to be citing them. I think the time for warnings and education is over here at this park,” said Leonal Romero, Miami-Dade Animal Services Program Manager
Already on Wednesday, Animal Services had already issued at least five citations.
It’s still unclear what if any consequences the owner of the dog might face. Romero says the investigation is still ongoing and could take a few weeks.