Dog owner’s lawyer disputes description of encounter that left boy with stitches

The owner of a dog who bit a 13-year-old boy in the face has been the target of death threats and racist comments online, which his lawyer attributes in part to the “inaccurate description of the circumstances” leading up to the incident and that they included it. .

Muhammad Almutaz Alzghool told the Star that he was helping tidy up after taekwondo class last Friday at Black Belt World on Bloor Street West, when the instructor urged him to get closer to his family pet to overcome his fear of dogs. .

“He told me ‘you have to overcome your fears and if you don’t, you will never be a national champion,'” the boy said, adding: “I felt pressured to do it.”

It says that when he approached the animal, Dwaeji jumped up and bit Muhammad on the cheek and lip. The wound required 20 stitches, he told the Star.

Four days earlier, Vaughan Animal Services had released the dog, named Dwaeji, after seizing it for 24 days on suspicion that it was a pit bull, a prohibited breed in Ontario. Its owner, Tommy Chang, who owns the martial arts studio, launched a successful campaign to free Dwaeji, prompting the province to relax rules on the detention of suspected pit bulls. Dwaeji is an American bully.

Since he returned home, Dwaeji has not been the same, urinating and defecating inside the Chang residence, lawyer Leo Kinahan explained Wednesday. So when Chang and his wife were going out for the night, they decided that Chang’s son Yohan, an instructor at the studio, would take Dwaeji to work with him, where they tied him to a pole in a back room.

Surveillance footage seen by the Star on Wednesday shows the boy had some encounters with the dog. On one occasion, he sits in a chair across from Dwaeji; throws a ball in his direction and dances around him, “apparently without showing fear,” Kinahan said. Finally, the boy enters the room carrying a table with another taekwondo student, while other students mill about. Yohan Chang appears to be addressing the group and not only singles out Muhammad, Kinahan said.

“That conversation never took place.”

The video then captures Muhammad approaching the animal as the tables are moved. At that moment, Dwaeji jumps up and bites Muhammad’s cheek and lips, causing the boy to run out of the room holding his face.

Tommy Chang was notified and has relocated Dwaeji to an undisclosed location, Kinahan said. Chang and his family are devastated and scared by the backlash.

Muhammad could not be reached for comment on Wednesday.

Also Wednesday, Prime Minister Doug Ford expressed his sympathy for the teenager, saying the provincial ban on pit bulls is not going to change “at this time.”

Leave a Comment