Man charged after dog attack

November 16, 2009 3:37:11 PM PST
A man from Plymouth Meeting, Pa. is facing a number of charges after his dog allegedly attacked a five-year-old girl.

Police say Gary McKeown's dog, Max, was known to be vicious but was allowed to roam free.

The attack last month sent the girl into surgery for five hours with severly damaged vocal cords and a punctured larynx. She recently returned home after six weeks in the hospital..

Investigators say McKeown owned a produce farm, and the girl, Miabella Delaney-Lipshutz, was there to pick pumpkins with her mother.

The family's lawyer said at first the dog appeared friendly, but it then attacked the child for no apparent reason.

"He had his jaws clenched around her throat, her mother watched the whole thing," said attorney Matthew Casey. "The mother actually had to grab the dog's jaws and pull them apart.

Authorities say the dog has severely attacked at least three other people in the past, in cases dating back nine years. Montomery County officials had long since ordered McKeown to keep his dog away from customers.

"This was a pure accident, and that dog was not supposed to be around children," said Tomas Egan, McKeown's attorney. "He knew that and took some steps to make sure that wouldn't happen, even that day."

The dog has since been put down.

McKeown was arraigned Monday morning and released on $50,000 dollar bond. He could face up to seven years is prison.


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