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Pit Bulls Chase Terrified Cyclist in California

British cyclist chased by pitbulls in california

A British cyclist named Ed Hack had a terrifying encounter while riding in remote California as part of a community ride to raise awareness for mental health. The 28-year-old from Hampshire captured frightening footage on his phone of two aggressive pit bulls chasing him down at high speeds, getting dangerously close to his bike, and trying to bite him.

In the video, one of the more muscular dogs can be seen pushing Ed towards oncoming traffic as he frantically yells at them to go away. Pitbulls can reach speeds up to 30 mph and maintain that pace. At the last second, Ed manages to out-pedal the animals and escape safely.

Posting the footage to social media quickly went viral, with over 245,000 views. When a dog is chasing them, Ed advises fellow cyclists to hold their ground, stay on the bike, and not accelerate too quickly to not overexcite the dog. However, in this intense situation, he admits he had no choice but to pedal as fast as possible since the dogs would not relent.

Ed says unleashed dogs chasing cyclists is not uncommon in remote areas, but he doesn’t want this incident to scare people away from cycling, as confrontations this severe are rare.

Dog Bites on the Rise

In a concerning trend, California has witnessed a surge in incidents involving untrained dogs and irresponsible pet owners, posing significant risks to public safety and legal consequences for those involved. As seasoned California dog bite lawyers, we see these types of injuries weekly.

Dog attacks have increased, especially in Los Angeles County, and attacks on mail carriers and delivery drivers continue.  Untrained dogs, whether through negligence or intentional disregard for proper training, can exhibit unpredictable and aggressive behavior, putting innocent bystanders at risk of sustaining severe injuries.

These incidents have physical and emotional consequences and have substantial legal implications for the dog owners.

Public Perception of Pit Bulls

In early 2024, our law firm conducted a nationwide study of how people perceive dog owners, specifically large-breed dog owners. Based on a questionnaire of 3000 people, we found which breed they perceived to be the most dangerous type of dog.

In almost every state we polled, pit bulls were the number one breed people perceived as having poor training and/or negligent owners. Wolf breeds took second place, but only in 2 states.

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Legal Obligations of Dog Owners

When it comes to dog bite cases, California is a strict liability state, which means that owners are liable for any injuries their dogs cause, regardless of whether the animal has previously displayed aggressive tendencies.

This legal principle underscores the importance of responsible pet ownership and the necessity of proper training and socialization for dogs.

“Irresponsible dog owners who fail to train and control their pets adequately are not only putting the public at risk but also exposing themselves to significant legal liabilities,” said Brian Chase, our prominent California dog bite lawyer. “Pet owners must understand their legal obligations and take proactive measures to ensure the safety of those around them.”

Owning a large-breed dog requires more training than, say, a poodle. The dog’s strength must be managed and controlled; otherwise, disastrous results can happen. Pit bulls notoriously have a bad rap, but we cannot ignore that they are typically overbred and abused.

While people will spend thousands to purchase a Rottweiler or Doberman, pit bulls are overbred by backyard breeders, and the overpopulation leaves many of the animals abandoned. 

Legal Implications of a Dog Attack

The consequences of a dog attack can be severe, ranging from physical injuries requiring medical attention to emotional trauma and psychological distress. In some cases, victims may even face long-term disabilities or disfigurement, significantly impacting their quality of life.

California law recognizes the gravity of these situations and provides legal recourse for victims. Under the state’s dog bite laws, owners can be held liable for damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other related costs incurred by the victim.

However, the legal implications extend beyond civil liability. In cases where the dog has a history of aggressive behavior or the owner has failed to take reasonable precautions, criminal charges may also be pursued, potentially resulting in fines, probation, or even imprisonment.

“Dog owners must prioritize proper training and socialization from an early age,” Brian Chase emphasized. “Neglecting these responsibilities not only puts others at risk but also jeopardizes the well-being of the dog itself, as untrained animals may face euthanasia in severe cases.”

To mitigate the risks associated with dog attacks and ensure compliance with California’s dog bite laws, experts recommend the following measures:

1. Enroll dogs in professional training programs to instill obedience and socialization skills.
2. Properly secure and restrain dogs in public or around unfamiliar individuals.
3. Closely supervise interactions between dogs and children or vulnerable individuals.
4. Maintain up-to-date vaccinations and veterinary care for dogs.
5. Obtain appropriate insurance coverage to protect against potential liabilities.

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California Personal Injury Blog