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Judge Acquits Father Over Son's Death

The father of a 7-year-old boy who was attacked and killed by a pit bull was found not guilty Friday.

Zachary King Sr. was sleeping last August when his 7-year-old-son, also Zachary King, went into the family's basement to play with the dog. The dog was tied up in the basement, but managed to seize the child by the neck. The dog crushed the boy's larynx, asphyxiating him, and severing one of the boys arteries.

King was charged with second-degree manslaughter.

"I raise my kids as best I can and the media play it like I'm something like a gangster," King said, according to the Bemidji Pioneer. "I'm not a bad person."

The dog, whose name was Face, had seven prior instances of aggression related to biting.

Hennepin County District Judge Kevin Burke said that several other people could have told King that the dog might be dangerous, including Minneapolis animal Control. However, Burke said the agencydid not attempt to classify the dog as dangerous or potentially dangerous despite knowing about the prior bites.

Burt Osborne, of the Minneapolis Animal Control, said that officers had only had contact with the pit bull twice, and choose not to label the dog dangerous because the bites were minor.

"even if we had overreacted and declared the dog dangerous on the spot, it would not have prevented what happened to that poor boy," Osborne told KARE-TV.

"The city's animal control officers can't be in basements monitoring how many hours a poor animal has been chained to a pole in the basement and sittin in its own waste," Osborne told KARE-TV, saying that investigators believe that this is the treatment the animal received before the attack.

Bemidji Pioneer
KARE 11