According to The Arizona Republic, Phoenix police arrested the owner of a dog in Phoenix on suspicion that she released her pit-bull to attack a woman.   The dog owner allegedly ordered her son to open a gate to let the dog loose on the dog bite victim; the dog ran into the street and began biting people, witnesses told police.  Unfortunately, in addition to the dog owner’s intended victim, the dog attacked two children, and a child was injured while running from the dog.   The dog owner is being charged with aggravated assault for the dog bite.

The victims of the dog bite could sue the dog owner civilly.  In Arizona, injury to any person by a dog while at large shall be the full responsibility of the dog owner or person or persons responsible for the dog when such damages were inflicted.  See Arizona Revised Statutes section 11-1020.   A dog is at large if it is neither confined by an enclosure nor physically restrained by a leash.  See Arizona Revised Statutes section 11-1001.2.    In the situation at hand, while the dog was confined to the yard by a yard gate, it was not at large.  However, once the dog was released into the street it was no longer confined by an enclosure nor physically restrained by a leash; it was at large.   And so, so long as it can be proven that the dog owner was responsible for it, she will be liable to the victims for the dog bite.  And so, the victims should hire an experienced personal injury attorney.