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Pit Bulls' Owners Charged in Attack : Crime: A couple are accused of misdemeanor violations after their dogs inflicted facial wounds that required 80 stitches.

May 24, 1994|VIVIEN LOU CHEN | TIMES STAFF WRITER

BURBANK — Misdemeanor charges have been filed against the owners of two mixed-breed pit bulls that attacked a woman as she was taking an afternoon stroll, city officials said Monday.

The charges of violating the city's leash law, harboring a dangerous animal and operating a kennel without a license were filed Friday against Edward Ecock and his wife, Andrea Valente.

Donna J. Smith, 57, of Panorama City was dragged to the ground by the dogs and bitten over much of her body near the intersection of Parish Place and Chandler Boulevard on May 12. She required about 80 stitches on her face and has been released from St. Joseph Medical Center.

The dogs--Cheyane, a 3-year-old female, and Dutch, a 5-year-old male--were placed under a 10-day rabies quarantine. They are currently being held as evidence at the Burbank Animal Shelter until a judge rules on their fate.

"Certainly, we'll be requesting the destruction of the animals," said Assistant City Atty. Terry Stevenson.

Valente, who insists that she, and not her husband, owns the dogs, said she has been so upset since the incident that she has been unable to eat or sleep.

"They're like our family members," said Valente, 28. "They sleep in our beds with us.

"I feel terrible. I don't want my dogs to be taken away, but I'd never want someone to get bitten. . . . My dogs are like everything to me."

At the time of the attack on Smith, the dogs were being watched by Valente's 8-year-old son. Valente claims that Smith provoked the animals. Smith could not be reached for comment Monday.

Arraignment for Ecock and Valente has been scheduled for June 23.

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