WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- New Hanover County Dangerous Dog Appeals Court was in session Wednesday night. Panelists ruled on a high-profile case involving a pit bull that attacked a teen who later needed surgery.
"They should put it asleep or do something with it so it won't hurt nobody else," Vincent Marchse told WWAY back in April just a few days after a pit bull named Patron bit him in the leg. The bite required surgery. Marchese never returned to school after the incident either.
Marchese said he didn't provoke the pit bull before the dog jumped a fence, but there's a difference of opinion of that matter in Marchese's Monterrey Heights neighborhood. Regardless, Marchese and the dog had their day in court Wednesday night at New Hanover County's Dangerous Dog Appeals Court.
The court has three volunteer panelists. They act as the jury, but Marchese chose not to attend the hearing. Instead, he was represented by his parents.
"That dog did not go into the road to bite that child," Vincent's mother Robin Marchese told the panelists. "That dog went into the road to kill that child, and had it been another child other than my son, who happens to be 13 years old and 200 pounds, if it had knocked him down it would have killed him."
Brian and Appolonia Ransom own the two-year-old pit bull. They also have four children.
"Our youngest child is 19 months old," Appolonia said. "They've grown up around the dog. He's never shown any aggression toward anyone. If so, we wouldn't have him around our kids. "
Without an actual eywitness at the hearing, the case turned out to be a bit of he said, she-said.
"Is the dog dangerous?" panelist Joyce Bradley asked. "It's hard for me to say. It did enough damage, but it backed off. If it wanted to do more it would gone after him again and would likely have not stopped with just one bite."
In the end the panelists ruled Patron the pit bull to be dangerous. He'll have to adhere to dangerous dog guidelines with one exception: he will not have to have a gentle leader in a fenced-in yard with an adult present. Dangerous dog guidelines include a clearly marked "Beware of Dog" sign on property. The dog will have to wear a muzzle when off property.