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Teen bitten by dog in face seeks to sue owners

(Stevenson family)

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Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

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LAYTON — It's been nearly two months since 15-year-old Wyatt Stevenson has been back to Chapel Park, at 152 E. 900 South. That's because what happened to him there left him scarred for life.

Around 8 p.m. on June 18, Stevenson said he was with his ex-girlfriend riding his longboard through the park, but when he opened the gate and stepped inside the fenced-in tennis court area, he was attacked.

"I walked in and the dog was right here kind of jumping around," Stevenson said. "Right as I looked down, the pit bull just jumped up and bit me out of nowhere."

Stevenson's lip was torn open in two places and his cheek was scratched. As he was bleeding, the 15-year-old said no one offered any help.

"It hurt really bad, and she (the dog owner) didn't call the police or anything," Stevenson said. "She handed me toilet paper and had her boyfriend or husband run the dog home."

His ex-girlfriend ran to his house and alerted his mother, Katrina Stevenson. She raced to the park and said she was shocked no one had called medics.

"No one called 911. They protected a dog. They didn't protect my son," Katrina Stevenson said.

She hastily got the dog owners' name and phone number before rushing her son to the emergency room.

Wyatt received several stitches and has been healing from the bite, but still has scars.

In the meantime, his mother retained an attorney and has tried to track down the owners of the dog who bit her son.

She found out that was going to be more of a challenge than she planned.

"The dog owners have been evicted from their home and moved with no regard to leaving a forwarding address, " Katrina Stevenson said. "They're gone. They vanished."

As a single mother, Katrina is now left paying upwards of $20,000 in medical bills. She's said she's frustrated for many reasons and is pursuing legal action against the owners of the animal — if she can locate them.

"They had no regard for the rules. There's not supposed to be dogs in this park … hopefully my attorney can track them down so they can take responsibility," Stevenson said.

Davis County Animal Control director Clint Thacker said the owners of the dog were issued a citation and the pit bull was quarantined for 10 days, per protocol. However, beyond those actions, there is not much their office can do.

At this point, Thacker said, "It's a civil matter."



Nicole Vowell


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