Pit bull spooked into bar brawl | VailDaily.com

Pit bull spooked into bar brawl

Matt Zalaznick

A frightened pit bull and a man whom witnesses said had been drinking heavily had a bit of a skirmish in a Lionshead bar one night last week.

Police did not file criminal charges because, though the man, 41, claimed the dog bit him when he tried to pet it, three witnesses said the man provoked the attack by harassing and chasing the animal.

Police met with the man in his apartment April 3 around 9 p.m., shortly after the brawl. The man said he was in the bar and spotted a loose, brown-and-orange pit bull sitting near a jukebox. When he went to pet the dog, the man said it bit his right hand.

The man then sought out the dog’s owners, who blamed him for bothering the dog, according to the police report. The man said the dog bit him a second time during that discussion.

The man was then so angry he slammed a beer bottle on a table and shattered it, he said.

While talking with police, the man’s eyes were bloodshot and he was having trouble keeping his balance, according to the police report. He also had what appeared to be several small puncture wounds on his thumb and index finger.

But a witness who was sitting at the bar with his wife told police he saw a heavily intoxicated man harassing the dog. The witness said the dog was friendly with other people in the bar.

He said the man got off his barstool and knelt down about 3 feet from the dog. The dog barked at the man and appeared frightened as it ran away. But the man followed the dog and shook his hand in its face, as if, according to the witness, trying to provoke an attack.

The witness didn’t see the dog bite the man, who returned his barstool a few minutes later and continued drinking. A woman who owned the dog came up to the man and asked what he’d done to her pet.

The man became angry, said “I’m gonna get kicked out a bar for fighting with a dog?” and threw a glass beer mug on the floor, according to the police report.

Police could not find the dog or its owners.

Cowboy peeper

A man having a smoke behind a Pitkin Creek apartment Friday told police he saw someone peeking in the window of a neighboring apartment.

The man was standing outside around 12:50 a.m. and said he saw a man with a brown ponytail and wearing cowboys boots looking in a window.

The man told police he’s seen cowboy boots before in the snow outside his window.

Police could not locate the peeper.

Matt Zalaznick covers public safety, Eagle County Courts and Avon/ Beaver Creek. He can be reached at (970) 949-0555 ext. 606 or via e-mail at mzalaznick@vaildaily.com.

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