New Jersey prosecutors have reportedly declined to criminally charge the owner of a pair of pit bulls that attacked and killed a 3-year-old boy in his backyard earlier this month and injured his mother.
The boy died when the two dogs broke into the yard on March 16 from adjacent property and mauled him.
In a March 23 letter, Middlesex County Prosecutor Yolanda Ciccone said investigators did not find “intentional, knowing, or reckless criminal conduct,” on the part of the dog owner, NJ.com reported.
“In this case, based upon the information known at this time, it would appear as if no law has been violated. Thus, despite the well-intended demands for justice, no charges will presently be filed. Again, this decision is based upon the facts and evidence known to law enforcement at this time,” she wrote.
She said only a single incident of the dogs running loose was revealed. They were eventually returned to their owner, who will instead face a summons from the town of Carteret for having unregistered dogs.
During a Sunday vigil for the boy, attendees and lawmakers called for laws to allow for the criminal prosecution of owners whose dogs cause fatal injury.
“If there is no law, we will fight to make a law… It’s unfair,” Oma Morgan, a family friend said, according to NJ.com. “They hold people accountable for jaywalking or letting a dog poop on your front lawn… that doesn’t cost someone their life.”
Last week, Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin and Assemblywoman Yvonne Lopez sponsored the “Responsible Dog Ownership Act,” which would create stronger laws related to the leashing and fencing of dogs.
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