In torts, we learn about animal liability rules governing dogs. While domesticated animals are generally not subject to strict liability, a dog with a vicious character (or one that has previously attacked) does fall under the strict liability standard. However, what about a vicious owner. Police are looking for a woman who attacked a jogger who used pepper spray to fight off her dog. The woman, not the dog, bit the jogger.
The dog appeared to be some type of Rottweiler mix attacked the jogger around 10:25 a.m. in Anthony Chabot Regional Park. After the jogger fought off the dog, the dog’s owner punched, tackled and bit her.
That left a gruesome and clearly human bite mark on the jogger. The police are now looking for the suspect. The attacker was caught on video and described as a thin woman between 18 and 25 years old who was around 5 feet 6 inches tall.
In torts, there is a rule of “one free bite” that is often the dividing line between strict liability for a vicious dog and negligence for a non-vicious dog. Unfortunately for this suspect, there is no one-free bite rule for criminal assault and battery.