Police release video of dogs 'terrorizing' New Jersey community

LITTLE EGG HARBOR, New Jersey -- Police seized a trio of dogs Monday afternoon after surveillance video shows them going on a rampage through a New Jersey neighborhood.

The video shows a man swiping a pipe at the three large dogs, trying to defend himself as they continue to come towards him.

Police say the dogs were on the run in the Mystic Islands section of the township for about an hour Monday afternoon before they were finally caught, but not before police say they bit at least six people, including John Kita, who was working in his driveway when it happened.

"(I was) cleaning out the van, all of a sudden from behind my house on the side, these three dogs come barking at me very aggressively," Kita said.

Kita says one of them bit him on the thigh, right through his jeans, when a neighbor came to help.

"There was a neighbor who was chasing them down, he got out of his car with a golf club, started swinging at them. And finally the dogs left," said Kita, who went to the hospital for treatment but did not need stitches.

Police say four people were taken to the hospital by ambulance after the attack, and one woman's arm was bitten down to the bone.

"The people were terrorized. They didn't do anything at all to provoke these animals," said Little Egg Harbor Township Police Chief Richard Buzby.

Police say the dogs belong to Esau Morales, 26, and say these dogs have attacked before.
In fact they were seized in December after police say they bit a woman, but they were returned to Morales after investigators say he misled to a municipal court judge, saying two of the dogs belonged to someone else.

Police say the dogs are in custody at the Southern Ocean County Animal Shelter, and will not be returned to Morales.

"With this kind of history in that neighborhood these animals can no longer be there," said Buzby.

Police say Morales faces the following violations from animal control: One count of dog declared potentially dangerous, three counts of dogs at large, and three counts of failure to obtain a dog license.

Sister station Action News tried to reach Morales for comment Tuesday but was not successful.

Buzby says the fate of the dogs won't be determined until a hearing in Little Egg Harbor Township municipal court next month.

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