HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) — A dog owner could be facing charges after two pit bulls attacked a man at Sandy Bottom Nature Park in Hampton.
Travis Perez was at the park for a cookout with family when he was attacked. He says the wounds are painful, but it could have been much worse.
“They got me, like they pealed skin off right here,” said Perez as he pointed to a scar on his face. “I know if they would have got this area right here,” he continued pointing to his neck, “I would have been gone.”
He says he was walking along a trail when two pit bulls started running straight at him.
“When they started charging at me, I started running and screaming, I fell, and that’s when they immediately jumped on me.”
The owners were eventually able to pull the canines off Perez, but not before the dogs dug deep, leaving gashes in Perez’s face, arms and back.
Immediately after the attack, Perez ran back to his family’s cookout where his fiance Terrisha Goddard began to take care of him.
“I just kept hearing someone screaming, screaming, screaming,” said Goddard. “And I look and I could see him running towards me and he was like ‘babe please help’ and he was holding his face and blood was gushing everywhere.”
Then Goddard called 911 and an ambulance took Perez to the hospital for treatment.
Officials say both dogs are being held on a court order at the Peninsula Animal Shelter waiting for a judge to decide if and when they will be released back to their owners.
Perez doesn’t place all the blame on the dogs. “It depends on how you raise your dogs for real,” he explained. “I don’t know how these dogs were raised, but they were vicious to me.”
His scars will fade, but the emotional scars might take a little longer to heal.
“Every time I wake up and see my scars it just brings me back to this day right here, and I just hate that I got to live with this for the rest of my life.”
According to Perez, neither dog was on a leash. Last August, the City of Hampton passed an ordinance saying all dogs in city limits have to be kept on a leash when not on the owner’s property or a designated dog park.
No official word on how this will be taken into account for this instance.