Jogger attacked by dogs dies - WNEM TV 5

Jogger attacked by dogs dies

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A Livonia man has died after being attacked by two large dogs in Lapeer County's Metamora Township on Wednesday.

The incident happened around 5:30 p.m. on the 5500 block of Thomas Road, just south of Brauer Road.

Craig Sytsma, 46, was jogging when he was attacked.

"I would consider this instance rare, definitely. The person dying from his injuries of a dog bite, especially out here," said Metamora Township Police Chief David Mallett.

Police initially responded to the scene after dispatchers reported a shooting. It was then learned that the shots were fired by neighbors in an attempt to scare the dogs away from the man.

Sytsma had no identification on his person when he was found.

Sytsma was transported to McLaren Lapeer Regional Medical Center where he later died from injuries sustained.

Sytsma was employed by Eltro Services in Oakland County's Oxford Township.

Both dogs were taken to Lapeer County Animal Control. Metamora Township Police tell TV5 the dogs were Cane Corso breed, which is an Italian version of a bull mastiff.

On Thursday night, neighbors and community members reacted to the news.

"It can't get any worse than this, when it takes a person's life, it's sad," said Metamora Township resident David Martin.

"To my opinion, it's the owner's fault. This should have never happened," said Martin's wife Tammy Martin.

According to people who live nearby, these dogs have attacked before, and at least twice.  The Martins told TV5 they had a close encounter of their own early this summer.

'When we seen them that one time coming down the driveway, we just booked it, because we couldn't compete with those dogs, and neither could this gentleman here," said David Martin.

Dan Petz's grandmother, who recently passed away, lived next door to the home where the dogs were.  He said the dogs came onto her property barking and growling on more than one occasion.

"Not surprised that it came from this house," said Petz.  "I'd think that most people would have their dogs chained up, or trained well enough, where you'll keep your dog on your own property."

The Lapeer County Prosecutor will review the case and determine whether to press charges against the dogs' owner.  At this point, we do not know the fate of the dogs.

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